Complaints against Realm of the Unicorn Premium Gin based Liqueur and FlaGingo Electric Blue & Scottish Raspberry Gin Liqueur were not upheld by the alcohol industry’s Independent Complaints Panel (Panel).

The Panel concluded the products and overall appearance – the adult style of the artwork, the 70s and 80s rock and roll music themes, colouring and shimmer effect of the liquid – were unlikely to have a particular appeal to under-18s. A copy of the full decisions are available here and here.

Both products by Zymurgorium, received complaints in relation to rule 3.2 (h) – that a drink’s name, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not have a particular appeal to under-18s.

The complainant stated: “This drink looks as if it’s aimed at children. It should not be sold in such packaging or with the pearlised effect of the product. Very concerning. I actually thought it was little girls bubble bath”.

In its response, the producer explained that the substantial text content and overall appearance meant the products were clearly alcoholic and not for under-18s. Furthermore, the company explained that its brand was well-known for its inventive, creative and experimental drink flavours, and that its packaging was equally as important in conveying this.

In its judgement, the Panel reiterated its point that unicorns and flamingos could hold a broad appeal for all age groups and compliance would ultimately be determined by the overall impression conveyed. Taking into consideration the points raised by the complainant and the company’s response, as well as inspecting all aspects of the products, the Panel concluded that the products were unlikely to have a particular appeal to under-18s and accordingly did not uphold the complaints under Code rule 3.2(h).

Commenting on the decision, the Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel, Nicola Williams, said: “Appearance and design are important features of many alcoholic products, particularly when considered alongside other elements on packaging that emphasise and tell a brand story. In the case of these products the overall appearance and messaging were not considered to have a particular appeal to under-18s.”