Fashion retailer French Connection is being forced to abandon its flavoured alcoholic beverage FCUK Spirit, because the FCUK brand appeals too strongly to youngsters aged under 18 years old.
The Portman Group, the drink industry’s self-regulatory body, has upheld a complaint against the drink and has asked retailers not to stock the product.
FCUK Spirit, a vodka-based drink, was launched in 2001 (MW October 4, 2001). French Connection teamed up with Matthew Clark Brands to market the drink.
The manufacturer disagrees with the Portman Group’s decision that the brand is likely to encourage under-age drinking, but has agreed to withdraw the product.
Jean Coussins, chief executive of the Portman Group, says: “This ruling sends out the strongest possible message, to both drinks companies and brand owners, that if your brand appeals to under-18s, it should be kept away from alcohol. If owners of other brands that appeal to under-18s are thinking of entering licensing agreements with alcoholic drinks companies, they should forget it.”
In a separate ruling, the Portman Group has also upheld complaints against Kiss Me, a fruit-flavoured drink sold in test tubes. The regulatory body says that the packaging does not clearly communicate the drink’s alcoholic content, and that its gimmicky image is likely to appeal to youngsters aged under 18 years old.
The Portman Group’s Independent Complaints Panel adjudicates on complaints made on the naming, packaging and promotion of alcoholic drinks.