Diageo under scrutiny for breaching marketing rules

21 August 2014 (Last Updated August 21st, 2014 18:30)

Beverage alcohol producer Diageo is under the scanner of the Independent Complaints Panel for breaching marketing rules by sporting a colourful design on their promotional countertop unit.

Beverage alcohol producer Diageo is under the scanner of the Independent Complaints Panel for breaching marketing rules by sporting a colourful design on their promotional countertop unit.

The move comes after Northampton Borough Licensing Team filed a complaint claiming that the product had been "designed to drive 'impulse sales'" in convenience stores.

The panel took objection to the "mix it up tonight" message on the unit, which may encourage consumers to drink more in one sitting.

"I would encourage all producers to consult our free and confidential Code Advisory Service if in any doubt whether their products adhere to industry standards."

However, the panel did not take any remedial action as Diageo had already redesigned the unit to remove the "mix it up tonight" message before the complaint was made.

The panel said: "The promotion contravened Paragraph 3.2(f) of the Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks, which prohibits any encouragement of illegal, irresponsible or immoderate consumption."

Independent Complaints Panel secretary Henry Ashworth said: "Caution should be exercised when it comes to messaging on packaging and promotions, particularly where more than one variety of alcohol is on sale from the same point.

"I would encourage all producers to consult our free and confidential Code Advisory Service if in any doubt whether their products adhere to industry standards."

Regarding the complaint of the appeal of the product to under-18s, the company referred to the Portman Group guidance and said that the product did not display any feature that could appeal to children.