The product was randomly selected by the Portman Group following the publication of a new code of practice.
Food and drink consultancy Zenith Global carried out an audit for the organisation and said the imagery and name of the citrus IPA did not provide total clarity that it was alcoholic and could appeal to children.
The packaging was not deemed to breach the code where it says the “alcoholic nature of a drink should be communicated on its packaging with absolute clarity”.
However, the complaint was upheld under the part which said a drink should not “have a particular appeal” to underage consumers, “in any direct or indirect way”.
Imagery of oranges and sunshine alongside the name Juicebox made a link to orange juice and could mean the product was interpreted by children as a juice or fizzy drink, the complaint suggested.
The complaint also identified the can size and said this could mislead younger consumers into thinking the product was a fizzy drink.
The chair of the Independent Complaints Panel, Jenny Watson, said producers should take caution from the ruling and ensure their packaging designs were compliant with the code.
She said: “The panel believed the stylised image of a heap of oranges, including one depicted as a sun, alongside the name which could be easily associated with a children’s drink meant that this product had a particular appeal to under-18s.
“It once again highlights how important it is for producers to consult the Code of Practice and the Portman Group’s advisory service before launching a product to avoid problems before they arise.”
The panel said the elements of the drink’s design were not particularly childlike in isolation but in combination had a special appeal to children.
The brewery is working with the group’s advisory service to comply with the code and said it could not comment on the ruling at this time.