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Diageo Christmas cocktail complaint dismissed

The Portman Group has dismissed a complaint against a Diageo-branded Christmas cocktail promotion following accusations it appealed to children.

Merry Christmas from The Spirits Business
A complaint against a Diageo Christmas cocktail promotion has not been upheld by The Portman Group

The regulatory body’s Independent Complaints Panel (ICP) reviewed a complaint against Diageo’s Bauble Cocktails promotion, branded with Smirnoff vodka, Gordon’s gin and Captain Morgan rum.

Cocktails under the promotion were served in the plastic drinking vessel shaped like a Christmas bauble with a plastic straw. Images of the bauble were also used to promote the cocktail as part of a joint campaign with Greene King.

However, the ICP ruled that the promotion had not breached the responsibility code since Christmas is “universally enjoyed by all ages” and would not appeal to under-18s in particular.

The panel also noted that the Bauble Cocktail was only available for consumption in licensed premises and the vast majority of people who would come into contact with the promotion would be over-18.

“In this case, the panel has clearly ruled that the co-promotion did not breach the code,” said Henry Ashworth, secretary to the ICP. “As a general guide, when using promotional vessels producers must take care that they would not particularly appeal to under-18s.”

In August last year, The Portman Group ruled that one of Diageo’s counter-top display units breached marketing rules – a decision the UK drinks group called “disappointing”.

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