Company: Rebellion Beer Company Ltd
Final Decision: 24 June 2005
Considered under the 3rd Edition of the Code.
“I would like to make a complaint about Zebedee beer which I believe breaches the Portman Group’s code of practice. Their point of sale material in pubs features the Zebedee character from the Magic Roundabout, which is obviously of more than a little interest to children.”
Member of the public, London.
Under Code paragraph 3.2(g)
A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way have a particular appeal to under-18s.
The Panel’s assessment
The producers said that “Zebedee” beer was a Real Ale produced solely for consumption in pubs where it was available only via handpumps on the bar. They said that that because it was sold only in pubs consumers had to be over 18 and that the product was generally a drink for the 30-70 year old age bracket. They argued that children’s series “The Magic Roundabout” was last shown on television 30 years ago and that there were no plans for a new series to be shown. They also said that although a film version of the series had recently been released, they believed it had not been particularly popular. The producers pointed out that they had used the pump clip for 12 years without any adverse comment.
The Panel noted the producers’ arguments. It noted particularly the fact that the beer was only sold in draught form in the controlled environment of pubs and was not available in bottles and that the pump clip was intended to be permanently fixed to the pump handle. It noted that the pump clip featured the Zebedee character from the original tv series “The Magic Roundabout”, rather than the modern character from the recent film version, and that the tv series was shown in the UK between 1965 and 1977. The Panel considered that the original Zebedee character featured on the pump clip was “retro” in nature and would have a nostalgic appeal to an older generation of 30 and 40-somethings who had watched and fondly remembered the original tv series, rather than a particular appeal to under 18s. It therefore concluded that the pump clip did not breach Code paragraph 3.2(g).
Action by company
No action required.