An independent complaints panel that rules on breaches of industry body The Portman Group’s code of conduct concluded that the dominant theme of the label on Asda’s Premium Strong Cider was the drink’s alcoholic strength.
The ruling followed a complaint from a member of the public that the word “STRONG”, which was written in bold capital letters across the label, glamorised the drink’s alcoholic strength.
The Portman Group says in a statement that Asda “acknowledged the problem and has taken rapid action to change its labelling”.
Asda has been keen to stress its credentials as a responsible retailer of alcohol. In July, it claimed to be the first supermarket to introduce a minimum price for alcohol sold in its stores.
In 2007, however, it was reprimanded by the Portman Group for selling a gift pack containing an alcoholic drink and a teddy bear from its shelves. The Group accused Asda of “irresponsible” marketing and the supermarket was forced to stop selling the package.
An Asda spokeswoman says: “We are grateful to the Portman Group for raising this issue with us last year. We take our responsibility as an alcohol retailer very seriously, which is why we acted immediately to redesign the label.”
The Portman Group’s code of practice covers the naming, packaging and marketing of alcoholic drinks. Complaints are heard by the Independent Complaints Panel which is chaired by Sir Richard Tilt, former director general of the prison service.