Slingshots to change name in UK after Portman ruling

13th September, 2018 by Amy Hopkins

Dual-flavoured shot brand Slingshots will change its name in the UK after industry watchdog the Portman Group upheld a complaint that it encourages irresponsible drinking.

Slingshots will be sold under a new name in the UK

Owned by Australian group Global Beverage Brands, Slingshots is a spirit-based shot brand packaged in a twisted cup format. The brand launched in the UK last year.

Following a complaint from a member of the public, Portman Group’s independent complaints panel ruled that the product’s name and packaging encourages a “‘sling it down’ style of consumption”.

As such, the product contravenes paragraph 3.2 of Portman Group’s code, which states: “A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way urge the consumer to drink rapidly or to ‘down’ a product in one.”

In response to the ruling Global Beverage Brands said it will change Slingshot’s name “for all future production runs”.

John Timothy, secretary to the independent complaints panel, said: “Producers need to be mindful of the cues they are giving consumers, both through the product name and packaging design.

“These cannot be seen to encourage rapid consumption without running the risk of breaching the code. We offer a free, confidential advisory service to help producers stay on the right side of the line.”

The panel did not uphold two further complaints that Slingshots encourages binge-drinking or drunkenness, or that it appeals to under-18s.

Global Beverage Brands argued that since each shot contains half a unit of alcohol, it its unlikely that a consumer could drink enough for their consumption to be considered irresponsible.

The group also argued that Slingshots is clearly labelled as alcoholic and does not feature childish fonts or cartoon imagery.

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