Drinks fail packaging guidelines

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Complaints against four alcoholic drinks have been upheld in a report published last week by drinks industry watchdog The Portman Group.An...

Complaints against four alcoholic drinks have been upheld in a report published last week by drinks industry watchdog The Portman Group.

An independent panel, which assesses products according to The Portman Group's code, ruled that complaints against pre-mixed spirits Sorted, Zulu 42 and Wild Brew and Cannabis beer were justified and the group has now written to the manufacturers asking that changes are made to packaging and labelling.

It was decided that imagery of a gunsight used on packaging for Sorted implied an association with violent, dangerous and anti-social behaviour.

Zulu 42 was criticised for its aerosol can-style dispenser which the panel felt encouraged irresponsible drinking and appealed to under-18s.

Printing of the name and alcoholic strength of Wild Brew was felt to be too small and difficult to read so that consumers could be misled over its alcoholic content, and packaging on the bottled lager Cannabis was found to directly allude to the illicit drug.

The Cannabis story was revealed exclusively in The Publican Newspaper on September 4. The product is to be withdrawn and replaced by Heaven-Bräu.

A retailer alert has been issued advising licensees not to place orders for the existing packaging on Sorted and Cannabis from immediate effect, Zulu 42 after November 3 and Wild Brew after November 23.

The Portman Group director Jean Coussins said: "Individual mistakes and errors of judgement will always occur, but the sanctions deployed by the code and the widespread support from retailers, ensure that products which breach the code do disappear from the market."

Related topics: Beer, Ready to Drink, Legislation

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