‘Sweetie’ liqueur range comes under fire

UK alcohol watchdog the Portman Group has upheld a complaint against liqueur maker Sweet Little Drinks after its packaging was found to “appeal to teenage girls”.

The Advertising Standards Authority referred the complaint to the Portman Group, stating that Sweet Little Drinks “appear[s] to promote alcohol to children through the labels, artwork, product names, the colouring and bottle shapes, along with the brand name”.

Sweet Little Drinks’ Glitter Bomb Bubble Gum Gin Liqueur, Glitter Bomb Love Heartz Liqueur and Pink Vanilla Candy Floss Gin Liqueur were said to have a “particular appeal to children” and “look more similar in design to a bubble bath product than an alcoholic drink”.

Portman Group noted that the Sweet Little logo was the profile of a young girl’s face and “conveyed the impression that the brand was not targeting an adult market”.

Also, fonts and lettering styles used in the brand’s labels “could lead the product to appeal to teenage girls” and in the case of Glitter Bomb Bubble Gum Gin Liqueur and Glitter Bomb Love Heartz Gin Liqueur alcohol descriptors were difficult to read, “which may cause further consumer confusion”.

Portman Group’s panel concluded that the cumulative impact of ‘sweetie’ cues on each individual label, together with the ‘Sweet Little’ brand name and logo, had “unintentionally created a particular appeal to under 18s”.

Portman Group said that Sweet Little Drinks needed to make an effort to ensure that it does not cause any consumer confusion or appeal to children, by going to greater lengths when communicating its alcoholic nature.

A Portman Group spokesperson said: “This decision by the Independent Complaints Panel highlights once again that producers should steer away from using imagery in marketing and labelling that could have particular appeal to children.

“Producers should think carefully about what is conveyed by the overall impression of the product and speak to our advisory service if in any doubt. We are pleased that Sweet Little Drinks are working with us to amend their product range.”

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