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19th June

 Update: Rum accusations...


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Drinks censor dismisses ludicrous whinge from Alcohol Concern claiming that the Captain Morgan Rum label is a cartoon that appeals to children
Link Here
captain morgan rum Complaint Summary by Alcohol Concern

We would like to ask the Panel to consider whether the Captain Morgan pirate logo used on bottles and other items by Diageo is in breach of Section 3.2 (h) of the Code, which states that a drink, its packaging or promotion should not have a particular appeal to under-18s, and in particular contravenes the guidance that cartoon-style imagery...bright colouring... pictures of real or fictional people known to children or terminology popular with children should not be featured.

It is indisputable that Captain Morgan as he appears on Diageo's packaging and marketing materials is a cartoon-style image with bright colouring. He is also clearly both a real and a fictional person known to children: the popularity of 17th and 18th century pirates with young children is attested to by a wealth of books, films and toys; and the Captain Henry Morgan, on whom the drink's branding is based, is both a well-known historical character and has been fictionalised in a number of stories in print and on screen.

Portman Group Panel Decision: Complaint not upheld

The Panel began by discussing whether the image used on the product range was a cartoon or cartoon-like in style and might therefore be particularly appealing to under 18s. The Panel discussed the image at length and considered that the image was not a cartoon or cartoon like and that it more closely resembled a piece of art or oil painting than it did a cartoon. The Panel recognised that the colours used on the image were of a mature, shaded hue and that the image lacked luminescence or the bright colours that might be appealing to a younger audience. The Panel also concluded that the image was very old fashioned and traditional in style and was reminiscent of Victorian book illustrations and did not resemble any modern cartoons or characters.

The Panel discussed whether the image exhibited any visual clues or similarities to the archetypal pirate image that is commonly used in children stories and would therefore be recognisable by, and appealing to, children. The Panel considered that there were no obvious similarities between the image used on the product and the pirate images commonly depicted in children's stories, such as an eye patch or wooden leg, and recognised that the image was of in fact of a 17th Century Sea Captain and not a pirate.

Considering the lack of resemblance between the Captain Morgan image and archetypal pirate commonly used in children's stories, the old fashioned and adult style of illustration and muted colours used, the Panel concluded that it did not breach Code rule 3.2(h).

 

13th June

 Update: Fruitless Whingeing...

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Alcohol Concern complainst about Kopparberg Frozen Fruit Cider packaging
Link Here  full story: UK Drinks Censor...Portman Group play PC censor for drinks
koppaberg frozen fruit cider The anti-drink campaign group Alcohol Concern has whinged about the packaging for Kopparberg Frozen Fruit Cider. The campaigners claimed that the drink did not make clear that it contained alcohol and that the packaging would appeal to youngsters due to similarities with an unspecified popular non-alcoholic drink.

The complaint was not upheld by the Independent Complaints Panel (ICP), part of the Portman Group, an industry organisation that censors UK drinks packaging.

The Panel discussed whether the alcoholic nature of the drink was communicated with absolute clarity. They found that the word cider and contains alcohol were prominent on the packaging as was the ABV strength. Accordingly, the Panel did not uphold the product under Code rule 3.1

The Panel deliberated whether the packaging could particularly appeal to those under 18. The Panel noted a number of significant differences in comparison to the packaging of well-known soft drinks. The product did not have a straw and was not designed to be consumed directly from the pouch. The product was intended to be taken home, frozen and then poured into a glass. The Panel considered that this ritual was targeted at an adult audience.

The Panel also concluded that the colours used on the packaging, particularly the use of black, gave the product a premium appearance that would be more appealing to adults.

Accordingly, the Panel did not uphold the product under Code rule 3.2(h), particular appeal to children.

 

8th May

 Update: Baddies defeated...


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Alcohol Concern's whinge about James Bond on a Heineken beer label dismissed
Link Here  full story: UK Drinks Censor...Portman Group play PC censor for drinks
heineken spectre Anti-alcohol campaigners, Alcohol Concern, complained to the drinks industry trade group in its self regulating role as drinks censor:

We would like to ask the Panel to consider whether the Heineken UK beer packaging and marketing using an image of the armed character of James Bond is in breach of Section 3.2(b) of the Code, which states that a drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way... suggest any association with bravado, or with violent, aggressive, dangerous or anti-social behaviour .

We note that in May 2012, the Panel ruled against a pump clip produced by the Ramsgate Brewery since it felt that the Kray Twins [shown on the clip] were intrinsically linked with violence and aggression and were also relevant and contemporary . We would maintain that this is equally true of James Bond, particularly given the high degree of violence in recent Bond films.

Given that James Bond is a character who is also well known for his sexual success and unusually heavy drinking, we suggest that this marketing campaign is also in breach of Sections 3.2(d) and 3.2(f) of the Code, which prohibit any association direct or indirect with sexual activity or sexual success or with irresponsible or immoderate consumption .

Portman Group Decision:

Under Code paragraph 3.2(b): NOT UPHELD

A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way suggest any association with bravado, or with violent, aggressive, dangerous or anti-social behaviour.

Under Code paragraph 3.2(d): NOT UPHELD

A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way suggest any association with sexual activity or sexual success.

Under Code paragraph 3.2(f): NOT UPHELD

A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way encourage illegal, irresponsible or immoderate consumption, such as drink-driving, binge-drinking or drunkenness.

The Panel recognised that James Bond is a brave, daring and sometimes violent fictional character. However, the Panel did not believe that the use of a stylised image of a known fictional character would lead the average consumer to draw similarities between themselves and the character depicted.

The Panel discussed the use of an image of a pistol, which they considered for some time. The Panel noted that despite the pistol, the image itself is not of a violent nature and does not allude to or focus on violent or aggressive behaviour. In this case the Panel considered that the pistol is displayed in a stylised pose and is not depicted as being used to shoot or to cause harm, nor is the pistol a prominent feature on the packaging. The Panel agreed that including an image of a gun on packaging carries a high risk of creating an association with violent behaviour; however, on balance, the Panel were satisfied that the stylised motif of James Bond in his trademark silhouette stance serves mainly to draw attention to the wider James Bond brand rather than violent behaviour. Accordingly, the Panel did not uphold the product under Code rule 3.2(b).

The Panel considered whether imagery used on the product suggested any association with sexual activity/success or with immoderate/ irresponsible consumption. The Panel could not find any reason why the use of the stylised image of James Bond or reference to the wider James Bond brand would lead consumers to believe that the product may suggest an association with sexual success/activity or would encourage consumers to consume the product immoderately or irresponsibly. For instance, there were no other images on the packaging (such as a woman) which could give rise to this association. Accordingly, the Panel did not uphold the product under Code rules 3.2(d) or (f).