Poster and press ads for Brewdog Beer seen in August 2020:
a. The poster, seen outside Fulham Boys' School, Camden Town Centre and Chiswick in London, in Northumberland Street, Newcastle upon Tyne and in George Square, Glasgow, featured large text
taking up the whole ad which stated F**k You CO2. Brewdog Beer Is Now Carbon Negative. The letters between F and K were obscured by a can of Brewdog Punk IPA.
b. The press ad, a full or double-page ad seen in The Metro, The Week and The Economist, was
identical to the poster.
Complainants challenged whether the text F**k You was offensive and inappropriate for display in a medium where it could be seen by children.
BrewDog plc said they had wanted to shock people into thinking about the
planet and reducing and removing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. They said the billboard hosts and media print titles were aligned with their objectives and message and that The Economist, The Week and Metro recognised that the message would be
understood by their readers and were happy to run the ad. They said every media placement and poster site had been approved by the media owner or landlord and that every poster site had been planned in accordance with guidelines on proximity to schools
and religious buildings as advised by Outsmart.
BrewDog said they had consulted a broader range of outdoor contractors and had consulted with them on the campaign and its environmental message versus the potential for offence. They said the campaign
had run at a time when schools were closed for the summer holidays and so any exposure to the ad by children going to or from school would have been limited. BrewDog said the ads implied a swear word but that it was not explicitly stated, which they
believed followed precedent of what was acceptable. They did not believe the message would have caused harm or offence.
ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld
The ASA acknowledged that the poster showed an obscured version of the word Fuck; that it
had been placed in accordance with guidelines on proximity to schools and religious buildings; that the ad had run during school summer holidays and that one local authority (Newcastle City Council) had been asked and considered the ad acceptable for
use. Nevertheless, we considered it would be clear to most of those who saw it that the ad referred to the word Fuck in the context of the expression Fuck you and was making a pun, in reference to the impact of climate change.
We considered the word
Fuck was so likely to offend a general audience that such a reference should not appear in media where it was viewable by such an audience.
We therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious and widespread offence and was not
appropriate for display in untargeted media.
We acknowledged that most readers of Metro were adult. We considered that many would accept that the ad was using a play on words to make a statement about environmental issues as part of its marketing
message. Nevertheless, as a widely available, free newspaper, the ad was untargeted. Although the ad intended to use a pun to get its message across, we considered it would be clear to most readers that it referred to the word Fuck, a word that was
likely to be considered unacceptable by many readers in untargeted media. We also considered the expression the ad referred to Fuck you ? was likely to be associated with an aggressive tone. We concluded therefore that the ad was likely to cause serious
and widespread offence in Metro and was not appropriate for use in that publication.
We considered, however, that an obscured version of the word Fuck reflected similar use of language elsewhere in The Week and The Economist and, in light of the ad's
intended message, was not out of place. We also acknowledged these publications were not free and had to be actively purchased in a shop or by subscription. While some readers might have found it distasteful, we considered it was unlikely to cause
serious or widespread offence in those publications.
The ad must not appear again in the form complained of unless suitably targeted. We told BrewDog to ensure they avoided causing serious or widespread offence by, for example, avoiding references to
expletives in media targeted to a general audience. No further action necessary in respect of the ad appearing in The Week or The Economist.
The government consults on banning all advertising for food that tastes good enforced by onerous new censorship and red tape requirements that will strangle British companies whilst advantaging US corporate giants
We want your views on our proposal for a total online advertising restriction for HFSS (high in fat, salt or suger) products to reduce the amount of HFSS advertising children are exposed to online.
This consultation closes at
We're asking questions on:
what types of advertising will be restricted
who will be liable for compliance
enforcement of the restrictions
In 2019 the government consulted on restricting advertising of HFSS for TV and online . It asked for views on whether to extend current advertising restrictions on broadcast TV and online media, including consulting on watershed
restrictions. In July 2020 the government confirmed its intention to introduce a 9pm watershed on TV .
This new consultation goes further and looks at how a total HFSS advertising restriction could be implemented online. It should
be read with the 2019 consultation.
The perennial hindu whinger Rajan Zed is urging Prairie Krafts Brewing Company from Illinois to apologize and rename/withdraw its Trishul Pale Ale; claiming it to be highly inappropriate.
Zed said that inappropriate usage of sacred Hindu symbols
or concepts or deities or icons for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees. Zed indicated that Trishul was an emblem of Lord Shiva and one of the principal divine symbols in Hinduism; and its three prongs denoted the powers of
creation, preservation, destruction; and represented three gunas (fundamental principles of universe).
Breweries should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege, and ridiculing entire communities. It was deeply trivializing of
divine Hindu symbol to be displayed on a beer can, Zed claimed.
Upset Hindus have urged Anheuser-Busch InBev, largest brewer in the world, to change the name of its popular Brahma beer, claiming it to be highly inappropriate. The perennial hindu whinger Rajan Zed said:
Creator god Lord
Brahma was highly revered in Hinduism, and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be misused as a toasting tool or selling beer for mercantile greed.
Anheuser-Busch InBev should not be in the business of
religious appropriation, sacrilege, and ridiculing entire communities. Inappropriate usage of sacred Hindu deities or concepts or symbols or icons for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Rajan Zed added that
Hollywood celebrities Megan Fox and Jennifer Lopez have reportedly acted in Brahma beer commercials.
Brahma was created by Swiss immigrant Joseph Villager in Brazil in 1888. The company is known throughout Brazil as beer number 1.
Beers sold under the Brahma name include a lager, a double malt, a wheat beer and a chocolate stout, all named after a smart English geezer called Joseph Bramah, who invented the draft pump valve. But the unnamed and ooh-so-touchy
interfaith coalition is convinced that the name belongs exclusively to Lord Brahma, Hinduism's four-headed god of creation, and wants the brewer to find a new name for the product.
Lucas Rossi, Head of Communications for Anheuser-Busch InBev's Latin
America subsidiary, appears not be be intimidated. He said:
After explaining that the spelling was changed from Bramah to Brahma to make the name work better in the Portuguese language, and that the Brahma brand s very
important to the culture of Brazil which has a tiny minority of Hindus.
Perenniel whinger Rajan Zed has called Sheffield's Neepsend Brew Co. to apologize and withdraw its Hanuman beer claiming it to be highly inappropriate.
Hindu campaigner Zed said that inappropriate usage of sacred Hindu deities or concepts or symbols
or icons for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees. He said that that Lord Hanuman was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer for mercantile
intent. Moreover, linking Lord Hanuman with an alcoholic beverage was very disrespectful.
Neepsend Brew Co. has apologized after Hindus protested over its Hanuman Beer.
Gavin Martin, Director/Head Brewer of Neepsend Brew Co wrote to Rajan Zed:
Thank you for bringing this to our attention and we of course apologise for any offence we have caused. Though ignorance isn't an excuse we
certainly didn't mean any deliberate insult or disrespect by using the name...we'll be sure to research beer names more thoroughly in the future to avoid something like this happening again.
The Portman Group, a trade group for the drinks industry have banned Lawless Unfiltered Lager from Purity Brewing. The company markets the beer with the description: 'Lawless is a maverick beer' and 'is a law unto itself'.
Portman Group panel considered its rule 3.2(b):
A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way suggest any association with bravado, or with violent,
aggressive, dangerous, anti-social or illegal behaviour.
The Panel expressed concern that the name Lawless suggested an association with illegal behaviour.
The Panel noted the text on the back
of the can, which said Lawless is our maverick beer named after our farmyard fiend, Bruno the goat. Just like our lager he is law unto himself, full of character with a sharp kick!. The Panel acknowledged that the producers were a small company
challenging the established order in their industry and understood that they intended to convey that spirit. The Panel considered, however, that the text on the back of the can was not enough to prevent the name Lawless from being seen as a reference to
The Panel noted the producer's argument that the name of the product was Lawless Unfiltered Lager and that Lawless never appeared in isolation. The Panel also noted the wording on the back of the can, however,
which stated Lawless is our maverick beer and Lawless is brewed with a big dose of El Dorado hop. The Panel rejected the argument that Lawless was only ever used as part of the phrase Lawless Unfiltered Lager.
The Panel discussed
the image of the goat and the explanation around the name. Whilst the line drawing of the goat on the front of the can was not a problem in itself, the connection between the animal and the name as a motivation for the Lawless branding was not
sufficient. The Panel concluded that the name would still be problematic, even with more extensive text linking the artwork to the name.
The Panel agreed that to be a maverick or breaking the mould was not the same as breaking the
law, and considered that positioning a beer as maverick or highlighting quirky or mould-breaking qualities could be acceptable under the Code, whereas a reference to breaking the law was unacceptable.
After considering all the
arguments put forward, the Panel maintained their view that Lawless was fundamentally incompatible with the rule that alcohol products should not suggest any association with illegal behaviour. They emphasised that their concern was about the product
name alone and they believed the Code breach to be unintentional. The Panel considered that the name Lawless directly implied breaking the law, which was by definition illegal behaviour. Therefore, it could not be justifiable through content given the
nature of the Code. The complaint was therefore upheld under Code rule 3.2(b).
The perennial hindu whinger Rajan Zed is urging Three Hills Brewing in
Northamptonshire to apologize and withdraw its Veda India Pale Ale; calling it highly inappropriate.
He said that inappropriate usage of Hindu scriptures or deities or concepts or symbols or icons for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt
the devotees. Vedas were revealed Sanskrit texts considered as eternal-uncreated-divine-direct transmission from Absolute. Vedas were foundation of Hinduism and included Rig-Veda, world's oldest extant scripture. Zed claimed:
Using Vedas to sell beer was highly insensitive and trivializing of the immensely revered body of sacred and serious knowledge.
Rajan Zed is also urging Newport (Oregon) based Rogue Ales
& Spirits brewery to apologize and rename its "Shavasana" (Imperial, Granola Blonde Ale) beer; calling it highly inappropriate.
Zed stated that Shavasana, a highly important posture in yoga, was the ultimate act of conscious
surrender and was also used in Yoganidra meditation. Yogis slipped into blissful neutrality in Shavasana. "
The logo for Jägermeister alcohol is not religiously offensive, a Swiss court has ruled.
The Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property had blocked efforts by the German spirit brand to expand its trademark to cosmetics and entertainment
services. It claimed that the logo - a stag and a cross - could offend the country's Christians.
But Swiss federal judges ruled in favour of Jägermeister. The Federal Administrative Court ruled that the "intensive" use of the logo had
"weakened its religious character" over time, making the chance of genuine offence unlikely, Swissinfo reported.
The logo refers to the legend of St Hubertus, the 'Apostle of the Ardennes', who is said to have converted to Christianity one Good Friday in the 8th century after witnessing a stag with a crucifix between its antlers.
now use its logo on a wide-range of products in Switzerland including cosmetics, mobile phones, or telecommunications services.
The US perennial religious complainer Rajan Zed continuously rails against beers betaring references to Hinduism so it is interesting to read what the UK drinks censor makes of religious references in marketing.
The Portman Group represents the UK
alcohol trade and has a self censorship role to censor drinks packaging that may inspire offence taking. It recently considered a complaint against the Australian Lucky Buddha beer brand.
Complaint (which was not made by a
religious person but by a food and drinks consultancy, Zenith Global).
The shape of the bottle, the name and the Buddha symbol are all prominently displayed on the bottle. This may cause widespread offence to Buddhism followers
who consider the Buddha as a sacred symbol to the religion. Displaying this on an alcoholic beverage is perceived as disrespectful to the faith.
The company explained that they were an Australian company who had sold their
uniquely packaged beer for over 12 years on the international market. The company stated that they owned the Lucky Beer and Lucky Buddha brands and that the bottle and the logo were trademarks in many parts of the world. The company explained that the
product was produced in China, was sold internationally in restaurants and supermarkets and had been sold for 10 years in UK supermarkets and restaurants. They argued that, if their product caused serious or widespread offence, they would have heard
about it: they said they had never received an email or negative comment from any government or religious agency.
The company said the bottle showed Pu Tai, the Laughing Monk, not Buddha. The company explained that: Pu Tai's image
was used in amulets and within restaurants; Pu Tai had become a deity of contentment and abundance; people rubbed Pu Tai's belly for wealth, good luck and prosperity; Pu Tai was the patron saint of restauranteurs, fortune-tellers and bartenders; when
someone ate or drank too much, it was jokingly blamed on Pu Tai.
The Portman Group assessment: Complaint not upheld
The Panel first discussed whether the product name or packaging had caused serious
or widespread offence. The Panel noted the product was sold in predominantly Buddhist countries including Thailand. The Panel noted that there were different named Buddhas and different images of Buddha. Despite the fact that the bottle included the
brand name Lucky Buddha, the Panel considered that the bottle was in fact a representation of Pu Tai. The Panel also noted that this product had reached the complaints process following a compliance audit of the new Code and considered that it did not
provide evidence that Buddhists were offended by the name or packaging.
The Panel accordingly did not uphold the complaint under Code rule 3.3.
A Facebook post by The Folly Bar in Boston, Lincolnshire, seen on 29th September 2019, featured text which stated Buy your own keg for you and your friends! Over 50 cold pints available at your fingertips -- Have it next to your table in the main room,
our private room or outside in the beer garden! The ad featured an image of a man in a suit with a pint of beer leaning on a bar, under which sat a keg of beer.
A complainant challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because it
encouraged the excessive consumption of alcohol.
The Folly Bar said that the keg was offered to groups of 10 or more people. As that offered up to five pints of beer to each person, they did not deem such consumption as excessive.
They said the keg was predominantly purchased for birthdays and stag parties, and their staff monitored the consumption throughout. The Folly Bar said that their local Licensing Authority saw no issue with the ad, and that the keg was only available for
pre-purchase, where consumers were required to complete an online form confirming how many people would be attending the event. They said they would amend the ad so that it stated For group bookings.
ASA Assessment: Complaint
The CAP Code required marketing communications to contain nothing that was likely to lead people to adopt styles of drinking that were unwise, including excessive drinking. The ASA considered that consumers would understand
from the text Buy your own keg for you and your friends! Over 50 pints available at your fingertips -- Have it next to your table in the main room, our private room or outside in the beer garden to mean that they and a group of friends could purchase the
keg, which offered them 50 pints of beer, in various areas of the pub, and consequently implied it was readily available to any size group.
We acknowledged The Folly Bar's comment that the product was available to groups of 10 or
more people. However, that was not accounted for in the ad, and we noted that the Office of National Statistics (ONS) defined binge drinking as having over eight units in a single session for men and over six units in a single session for women. We
understood that the UK's Chief Medical Officer (CMO)'s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines advised both men and women not to drink regularly more than 14 units a week. It also advised consumers not to save up their 14 units, and that it was best to evenly
spread them across the week. We understood that five pints of 5% beer such as the one on offer equated to 14 units, which went beyond the ONS's definition of binge drinking, and went against the CMO's advice to spread the units evenly across the week. In
light of the above, we considered the ad was irresponsible because it encouraged the excessive consumption of alcohol and was therefore in breach of the Code.
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told The Folly Bar
to ensure that their future advertising did not encourage excessive drinking.
An outdoor poster ad for an alcohol-free beer by BrewDog, seen in October 2019, included text which stated SOBER AS A MOTHERFU next to the image of a beer can with the text BREWDOG, PUNK AF and ALCOHOL FREE IPA written on it.
ASA received 26 complaints:
All the complainants challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.
Sixteen complainants also challenged whether the ad was inappropriate for display in a medium where it
could be seen by children. Response
ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld
1. & 2. Upheld
The ASA understood the ad was featured in billboard media on which no restrictions had been placed and that it was therefore
viewable by a general audience, including children.
One complainant identified that the ad was placed immediately outside a primary school. We considered older children and adults who saw the ad would understand MOTHERFU was a
truncated version of the expletive motherfucker. We acknowledged that the word was not displayed in its entirety; however, we considered the word motherfucker was clearly being alluded to, and motherfu would therefore be understood as a clear reference
to that swear word. We considered that word was so likely to offend a general audience that such a reference should not appear in media where it was viewable by such an audience. We concluded the ad was likely to cause serious and widespread offence and
that it was not appropriate for display in media where it could be seen by children.
The ad must not appear again in the form complained about. We told BrewDog plc to ensure they avoided causing serious or widespread offence by,
for example, avoiding references to expletives in media targeted to a general audience which included children.
Perennial whinger Rajan Zed is urging Saint Petersburg based Mookhomor microbrewery to apologize and not use Hindu deity Lord Ganesh's image on its White Illusion IPA beer, calling it highly inappropriate.
Zed, the president of Universal Society of
Hinduism, said that inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees:
Lord Ganesh was highly revered in Hinduism and he was meant to be
worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer. Moreover, linking a deity with an alcoholic beverage was very disrespectful.
The drinks censors of the Portman Group received a complaint:
I found the printing design (stylised brightly coloured spacemen floating in space against a black
background to be targeted towards under 18s. In addition, the product name, Thrill Seeker Pale in bright orange also attracted underage consumers. The product name does not in anyway indicate this is an alcoholic product (Pale Ale). At the local Primary
School Fete I witnessed children asking for this product, based purely on the can design and printing.
The Panel began by discussing the drawings of spacemen on the product and noted that the images were more adult in nature due to the
graphic novel style of the design. The Panel then discussed the reference to children asking for the drink mentioned within the complaint but concluded that the company could not be held liable for the placement of the product within a school fete.
The Panel recognised that the spacemen illustrations could reasonably have appeal to both adults and children, but felt that they would be unlikely to have a particular appeal to under-18s so did not uphold the complaint.
The Panel then discussed the size and design of the can. Some panel members noted that the colour of the product reminded them of a Tango can, with its use of black and orange. The Panel concluded that, because of the size of the can (330ml) and the
nature of the busy label, together with the type of illustrations, the packaging needed to work harder to convey the alcoholic nature of the contents, given the overall look and feel of the product. The Panel also expressed concern that the description
used, New Word Pale, might not be widely understood by the average consumer to adequately convey that the can contained an alcoholic drink. The Panel thought that the full name including the word Ale (New World Pale Ale) would have given more clarity to
the fact the product contained alcohol.
The Panel considered that, although it was a niche product, Thrill Seeker had been sold more widely and the company could not rely on the product being encountered only by beer drinkers. The Panel therefore
upheld the complaint.
The Panel carefully considered the name Thrill Seeker and felt that it was inappropriate to have an alcoholic drink associated with thrill seeking. The Panel were concerned that the name implied risk or danger, referring to
the Oxford English Dictionary's definition: a person who is keen to take part in exciting activities that involve physical risk.
The Panel recognised it was not possible to emulate the activities depicted on the can, and that this may well have
been an unintended link to bravado but felt it was problematic, nonetheless. The Panel felt, on balance, that an association between drinking alcohol and thrill seeking was not acceptable. The Panel concluded that the name linked this product with
bravado and upheld the complaint..
The company voluntarily agreed to remove Thrillseeker 330ml can from their product range.
UK drinks censors at the Portman Group have banned the packaging for a high strength cider named Suicyder produced by The Bearded Brewery.
The Bearded Brewery stated that it was a small, independent brewery with no intention of selling Suicyder to
larger shops and suppliers. It highlighted the wider use of the word suicide in the branding of UK ciders, and noted that 244 beers, ciders and breweries also used the name internationally.
The Portman Group wrote in an adjudication:
The Panel discussed the product name 'Suicyder' and noted that this appeared in combination with a human skull, a noose and the wording 'juice from the noose'. The Panel considered that these three elements in combination were
unequivocally creating a direct link to suicide.
The Panel discussed the product name and imagery in the context of wider societal awareness of mental health issues and considered that it was inappropriate to link alcohol to
suicide. The Panel also considered that it was highly irresponsible to portray death by hanging in such an obvious manner, linking the name with its play on suicide, with a prominently placed noose alongside the other elements of the brand logo.
The Panel noted the company's point that multiple other producers reference suicide on alcohol products but sought to remind the company that it could only consider the product that was subject to complaint. In this instance, the
Panel concluded that the product name 'Suicyder', when used in combination with imagery that depicted a hanging method of suicide, created a direct link between suicide, alcohol and dangerous behaviour and accordingly upheld the product under Code
A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way suggest any association with bravado, or with violent, aggressive, dangerous, anti-social or
The company decided not to work with the Portman Group advisory service to amend their product in line with the Panel's ruling. Therefore, the Retailer Alert Bulletin below will be issued asking
retailers not to order the product,
Doctors writing for British Medical Journal open have issues a strong criticism of Ofcom for not implementing a total ban on junk food advertising before the 9pm watershed. Ofcom had a more nuanced restriction only targeting pre-watershed adverts in
programmes that appeal to children.
The doctors have no gone further and suggested that public health officials should take over Ofcom's TV censorship powers related to health.
In a new study published in the journal BMJ Open, the campaigners
said that the industry has unduly influenced the regulations for TV advertising of unhealthy foods to children. Hence, they said that since Ofcom's duty is to protect commercial broadcast interests, they should not be responsible for a public health
Instead, the doctors argue, that public health doctors should be the ones to decide on this matter, noting that they are more credible in making decisions regarding health. The researchers based their conclusions on a thematic analysis of
responses from stakeholders to the public consultation on proposals, which became effective in 2009. The proposals aimed to emphasize rules on TV advertising of foods for children and even teens.
The doctors say that Ofcom may have prioritized
commercial considerations over the health of the children. This fact has led to questioning of the conflict of interests of the regulatory body, if protecting broadcasting interests should be a reason for not allowing it to lead a public health
They added that Ofcom should have banned adverts of high-sugar, high-fat, and salty food before 9 p.m. when children are still watching programs like evening shows with their parents. Despite banning junk food advertisements during
shows watched by children aged 4 to 15 years old, it did so after two years. It banned the adverts only after industry representatives told it to do so.
Perennial whinger Rajan Zed has taken aim at a restaurant chain in Switzerland selling beef burgers and naming itself Holy Cow.
Zed said in a statement that cow, the seat of many deities, was sacred and had long been venerated in Hinduism.
It appeared to be a clear trivialization and ridiculing of a deeply held article of faith by Hindus world over. Hinduism should not be taken frivolously. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be
Zed urged Holy Cow! Gourmet Burger Company (HCGBC) to rethink about its name so that it was not unsettling to the Hindu community.
The drink censors of the Portman Group have upheld a recent complaint about Sweet Little Drinks (Sweet Little Glitter Bubble Gum Gin Liqueur, Sweet Little Glitter Bomb Love Heartz and Sweet Little Pink Vanilla Candy Floss Gin Liqueur). The group said:
The complaint was referred to us from the Advertising Standards Authority, with concern expressed that the Sweet Little Drinks appear to promote alcohol to children through the labels, artwork, product names, the colouring
and bottle shapes, along with the brand name Sweet Little.
Reviewing the products in detail, the Panel felt:
They may have a particular appeal to children and look like part of a children's confectionary range.
They could be considered to look more similar in design to a bubble bath product than an
alcoholic drink, if they were placed in a home environment.
The face in the "Sweet Little" logo was the profile of young girl's face and conveyed the impression that the brand was not targeting an adult
The direct link to the Love Hearts sweet brand together with the Love Heart style of font used and the dark pink colour of the drink, could lead the product to appeal to teenage girls.
In the case of Sweet Little Glitter Bomb Bubble Gum Gin Liqueur and Glitter Bomb Love Heartz Gin Liqueur, despite containing positive alcoholic descriptors on the bottle, these were in a difficult to read font on a clear label on a
glitter based product which may cause further consumer confusion as to the alcoholic nature of the product.
The 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 in each case. The Panel felt
that Sweet Little Drinks need to make an effort to ensure that they do not cause any consumer confusion or appeal to children, by going to greater lengths when communicating their alcoholic nature. The Panel therefore accordingly upheld the complaint
against the products.
New research has found that reality TV programmes like Love Island , TOWIE and Geordie Shore have exposed children and young people to smoking and alcohol, partly because they're available on catch-up outside the 9pm watershed.
The study by the University of Nottingham's Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies found that reality shows contain much higher levels of tobacco and alcohol content than other primetime TV programme genres. The in-depth analysis is
published in the Journal of Public Health.
The research team previously reported high levels of tobacco imagery, including branding, in the 2017 series of Love Island. However, after complaints over the level of smoking in that
series, an editorial decision was made to remove smoking content. The team's new study found no tobacco content in the 2018 series of Love Island.
For this new study, the researchers measured depictions of alcohol and tobacco
products on Made in Chelsea, The Only Way is Essex, Geordie Shore and Love Island and the now discontinued Celebrity Big Brother ,all airing on UK channels for a total of 112 episodes between January and August 2018. They measured
the number of one-minute intervals containing tobacco and/or alcohol imagery, including actual use, implied use, tobacco or alcohol-related materials, and product-specific branding, and estimated viewer exposure to the imagery on screen.
Audience viewing figures were combined with mid-year population estimates for 2017 to estimate overall and individual impressions -- separate incidents seen -- by age group for each of the coded episodes.
Alcohol content appeared in all 112 episodes and in 2,212 one-minute intervals, or 42% of all intervals studied. 18% of intervals included actual alcohol consumption, while 34% featured inferred consumption, predominantly characters holding alcoholic drinks. The greatest number of intervals including any alcohol content occurred in Love Island. Alcohol branding occurred in 1% of intervals and was most prevalent in Geordie Shore (51 intervals, 69% of episodes). Forty brands were identified, the most common being Smirnoff vodka (23 intervals, all but one of which occurred in Geordie Shore).
Tobacco content appeared in 20 episodes, in 110 or 2% of all intervals studied. Almost all (98%) of this content occurred in a single reality TV series, Celebrity Big Brother. This included actual tobacco use, inferred tobacco
use, and tobacco paraphernalia. Tobacco branding was not present.
When all the data were combined with audience viewing figures and population estimates, the researchers estimate that the 112 episodes delivered 4.9 billion overall
alcohol impressions to the UK population, including 580 million to children under the age of 16, as well as 214 million overall tobacco impressions, including 47 million to children under 16.
Lead researcher on the study,
Alexander Barker, from the University's Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, said:
Starting to smoke or drink alcohol at a young age is a strong predictor of dependence and continued use in later life. Recent
data shows that 44% of 11 to 15-year-olds in England have had an alcoholic drink, and 19% have tried smoking.
Given that seeing alcohol or tobacco imagery in the media promotes use among young people, our study therefore
identifies reality television shows as a major potential driver of alcohol and tobacco consumption in young people in the UK. Tighter scheduling rules, such as restricting the amount of content and branding shown in these programmes, could prevent
children and adolescents from being exposed to the tobacco and alcohol content.
Advertisers have launched a scathing attack on the government's plans to introduce further restrictions on junk food advertising, describing them as totally disproportionate and lacking in evidence.
In submissions to a government consultation, seen
exclusively by City A.M. , industry bodies Isba and the Advertising Association (AA) said the proposals would harm advertisers and consumers but would fail to tackle the issue of childhood obesity.
The government has laid out plans to introduce a
9pm watershed on adverts for products high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) on TV and online .
But the advertising groups have dismissed the policy options, which were previously rejected by media regulator Ofcom, as limited in nature and
speculative in understanding.
The AA said current restrictions, which have been in place since 2008, have not prevented the rise of obesity, while children's exposure to HFSS adverts has also fallen sharply over the last decade.
addition, Isba argued a TV watershed would have a significant and overwhelming impact on adult viewers, who make up the majority of audiences before 9pm.
They also pointed to an impact assessment, published alongside the consultation, which
admitted the proposed restrictions would cut just 1.7 calories per day from children's diets.
In a new survey by Action on Sugar and Action on Salt based at Queen Mary University of London, in association with Children's Food Campaign , has found half (51%) of 526 food and drink products which use cartoon animations on pack
to appeal to children are unnecessarily high in fat, saturated fat, sugar and/or salt. Manufacturers and retailers are accused of deliberately manipulating children and parents into purchasing dangerously unhealthy products, which can encourage pester
power and excessive consumption.
Action on Sugar, Action on Salt, Children's Food Campaign and other organisations are calling for a complete ban of such marketing tactics on unhealthy products and for compulsory traffic light nutrition labelling,
giving parents the chance to make healthier choices. If marketing on children's packaging were to follow the same advertising codes as set by the Committee for Advertising Practices for broadcast advertising, half would fail the eligibility criteria and
therefore would not be allowed to be advertised to audiences under the age of 16. The campaigners call for this criteria to be extended to all forms of media, and to any programme watched by a child, as is currently being discussed in the Governments
latest consultation on further advertising restrictions for products high in fat, salt and sugar
Alarmingly Tom Watson MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party agreed with teh call for censorship saying:
research reveals the scale of irresponsibility in the industry. We're in the midst of a child obesity crisis and companies are using cartoons to advertise their junk foods to kids. It's unacceptable. It's time we changed the rules to get these cartoons
off our packs.
Amsterdam based Friekens Brewery (Friekens Brouwerij) has apologized and removed Hindu deity Lord Ganesh's image, associated with its I.P.A beer, from its website, ins response to comments from the perennial whinger RajanZed.
Friekens Brewery wrote:
We would like to apologise for the use of the image of Ganesh on the label of our I.P.A. beer. We never meant to offend anyone. Our apology. All reference to Ganesh and his image have been removed from our website, and
we will develop a new brand identity for our I.P.A.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, thanked Friekens Brewery for understanding the concerns of Hindu community which thought image of Lord Ganesh on such a
product was highly insensitive.
Rajan Zed suggested that companies should send their senior executives for training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they had an understanding of the feelings of customers and communities when
introducing new products or launching advertising campaigns.
A pair of entrepreneurs have been refused European trademark protection for their energy drink named Brexit after an EU body labelled it offensive.
Pawel Tumilowicz and Mariusz Majchrzak had attempted to register their product Brexit with the European
Union Intellectual Property Office (Euipo) after they launched the drink in October 2016.
But they were denied on the grounds that EU citizens would be deeply offended by the appropriation of the word. Euipo claimed:
Citizens across the EU would be deeply offended if the expression at issue was registered as a European Union trade mark.
The pair then appealed before Euipo's Grand Board of Appea which rejected Euipo's judgement
that the word was offensive. However it ruled that Brexit could not be trademarked because it was not distinctive enough under EU law and would be confusing.
The high-caffeine drink - which is described on its website as the only reasonable
solution in this situation - is branded with the Union Jack and was only named after the contentious political event for a laugh, the Telegraph reports.
Recent complaints about three Firebox products - Unicorn Tears Gin Liqueur , Unicorn Tears Raspberry Gin Liqueur and Unicorn Tears Raspberry Gin Liqueur Miniature - have been upheld by the Independent Complaints Panel.
complainant, a member of the public, said the images on the product appealed to children. The Panel noted the illustration of the unicorn had the appearance of a child's drawing and would not be out of place as a logo on a child's toy, in a colouring
book, or on an item of children's clothing. When considering the overall impression conveyed by the product, including the unicorn logo and childlike typeface, the Panel considered that the product did have a particular appeal to under 18s, and
accordingly upheld the complaint.
The panel also agreed that the words Gin Liqueur and the product's ABV could have been communicated in larger text on the front of the label given that the product packaging was unconventional and was likely to
have a particular appeal to under 18s. It was the view of the Panel that the product had the potential to cause consumer confusion as to its alcoholic nature and the Panel therefore did not believe that this had been communicated with absolute clarity
within the spirit of the Code, particularly when considered alongside the unicorn logo, childlike typeface, sparkly pink liquid colour and cosmetic-like appearance.
Firebox is now working with the Advisory Service to amend the label on these three
The Portman Group is a trade organisation for the UK alcoholic drinks industry. It acts as the industry's censor of drink marketing and packaging. It reports:
A recent complaint about Beavertown Brewery's product, Neck Oil , was not upheld by
the Independent Complaints Panel
The complainant, a member of the public, expressed concern that the product uses bright colours and that the name Neck Oil implies that the product is to be consumed in one i.e. necked. Furthermore, the complainant
said that the colours used on the packaging are clearly aimed at the younger market and encourage irresponsible consumption .
The Panel firstly considered whether the product has a particular appeal to under 18s. The Panel discussed the colour
palette and illustrations on the can design and noted that muted, instead of contrasting, colours had been used and that the artwork was sophisticated, and adult in nature. The Panel concluded that there was no element of the can that could have a
particular appeal to under 18s and accordingly did not uphold the complaint with regards to under 18s.
The Panel considered the company's submission and acknowledged that the phrase neck oil was widely recognised as colloquial term for beer both
within and outside the industry. The Panel noted that neck was used as a noun and did not consider that its use in this way suggested a down in one style of consumption. The Panel concluded that there were no visual or text cues to encourage
irresponsible or down in one consumption and accordingly did not uphold the complaint with regard to encouraging consumption.
Perennial whinger Rajan Zed is urging the Amsterdam micro-brewer Walhalla to withdraw its Shakti double India pale ale, calling it highly inappropriate.
He said that inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other
agenda was not okay as it hurt hindu devotees.
Shakti was highly venerated in Hinduism since Vedic times and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer. Zed stated that it was deeply trivializing of
immensely revered Goddess to be portrayed on a beer label like this,
A chef has criticised Instagram after it decided that a photograph she posted of two pigs' trotters and a pair of ears needed to be protected from 'sensitive' readers.
Olia Hercules, a writer and chef who regularly appears on Saturday Kitchen and
Sunday Brunch , shared the photo alongside a caption in which she praised the quality and affordability of the ears and trotters before asking why the cuts had fallen out of favour with people in the UK.
However Hercules later discovered
that the image had been censored by the photo-sharing app with a warning that read: Sensitive content. This photo contains sensitive content which some people may find offensive or disturbing.
Hercules hit back at the decision on Twitter,
condemning Instagram and the general public for becoming detached from reality.
Perennial hindu whinger Rajan Zed is urging urging Salem (Virginia) based Olde Salem Brewing Company to apologize and withdraw its Hanuman (Spanish Milk Stout) beer; calling it highly inappropriate. Zed claimed that inappropriate usage of Hindu deities
or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated that Lord Hanuman was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or
home shrines and not to be used in selling beer for mercantile intent. Moreover, linking Lord Hanuman with an alcoholic beverage was very disrespectful.
Brewery owner Sean Turk, in a Company statement emailed today to Rajan Zed, wrote:
When naming our Spanish milk stout Hanuman we were unaware of the Hindu deity referenced by Rajan Zed. This name was purely a musical reference and had no other intent. We are reviewing options to address the
situation206We apologize if this inadvertent association has offended anyone in anyway.
A complaint about 3 Pugs Gin produced by Silverback Distillers has been upheld by the drinks censors of the Portman Group.
The complainant, a member of the public, believed that the product was aimed at an under-18's audience. The
complaint was upheld under Code rule 3.2(h), which states that a drink, its packaging and any promotional material should not in any direct or indirect way have a particular appeal to under-18s.
The Panel considered the overall
packaging of the product. They concluded that the use of the descriptor pugalicious, description of the bubblegum flavour on the labelling and the fact that the product was a pink coloured gin were not in themselves problematic. However, the Panel felt
that when these factors were considered alongside the depiction of the dogs as cartoon pugs in a hot air balloon overlooking a Willy Wonka-like sweet land across a pink liquid, then it was likely to have a particular appeal to under-18s.
A Portman Group spokesperson commented: This decision once again highlights that producers should steer clear of references and imagery related to childhood and childhood memories. They should think carefully about what is conveyed by
the overall impression of the product and speak to our advisory service if in any doubt.
Upset Hindus are urging Congleton (Cheshire, England) based microbrewery Cheshire Brewhouse to apologize and re-name and re-label its two Govinda beers carrying sacred Hindu symbol Om; calling
it highly inappropriate.
Rajan Zed said that inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees. Moreover, linking Lord Krishna with an alcoholic
beverage was very disrespectful.
In Hinduism, Om, the mystical syllable containing the universe, is used to introduce and conclude religious work.
Single bottle of these objectionable beers, Govinda Organic
Plumage Archer (ABV 6.4%) and Govinda 'Chevallier' Edition (ABV 6.8%), both Heritage India Pale Ales, is priced at £5 each. This awards-winning artisan craft brewery, established in 2012, whose tagline is Craft Beer From Cheshire That's Far From Plain;
besides a taproom, also sells beer online. It claims to use animal-free process and Shane Swindells is the Head Brewer.
Cheshire Brewhouse has inevitably apologized and agreed to remove the
Hindu symbol Om from its beer labels after Hindus protested, claiming it to be highly inappropriate.
Shane Swindells, Head Brewer and Owner of The Cheshire Brewhouse, in an email to Hindu whinger Rajan Zed who initiated the protest, wrote:
I now understand the Offence caused by Using the OM on our labels, & will therefore remove this from our beer labels, on all future runs. Please accept my humble apology, not offence was ever intended.
A complaint about HappyDown sparkling cocktails has been upheld by the Independent Complaints Panel for failing to clearly communicate their alcoholic content.
The complainant, a member of the public, believed that the cartoon
imagery used on the cans could appeal to children. The Panel did not believe that it did appeal to children but did raise concerns that the cues describing it as alcoholic were not immediately obvious. The Panel concluded that the alcoholic nature of the
drink was not clearly communicated and accordingly found the product in breach of Code rule 3.1.
HappyDown's producer, Tipple Brands Limited, will work with the Advisory Service to address the issues raised.
John Timothy, Secretary to the Independent Complaints Panel, commented, Alcoholic content needs to be conveyed clearly. Producers need to ask themselves if there is any other messaging or design on their product which could undermine
Index on Censorship is standing with our free speech friends at Flying Dog Brewery who've just been told by the UK drinks censor that they should stop selling one of the beers because the artwork by award-winning artist Ralph Steadman might encourage
Flying Dog was told that the Portman Group deemed the artwork for its Easy IPA Session India Pale Ale could spur people to drink irresponsibly.
We think this is nonsense and are
pleased Flying Dog plans to ignore this ruling.
The press release sent by Flying Dog Brewery is below:
Flying Dog Brewery Will Not Comply with Regulatory Group's Ruling on Easy IPA
Flying Dog Brewery has been defending free speech and creative expression in the United States for more than 25 years. Now, it's taking a stand in the United Kingdom.
In May 2018, the Portman Group, a
third-party organization that evaluates alcohol-related marketing, allegedly received a single complaint from a person who thought that Flying Dog's Easy IPA Session India Pale Ale could be mistaken for a soft drink.
of deliberation, the Portman Group issued a final ruling, claiming that the packaging artwork ...directly or indirectly encourages illegal, irresponsible or immoderate consumption, such as binge drinking, drunkenness or drunk-driving. It will be issuing
a Retailer Alert Bulletin on 15 October, which will ask retailers not to place orders for the beer.
Notwithstanding the Portman Group's ruling, Flying Dog has decided to continue to distribute Easy IPA in the United Kingdom.
Jim Caruso, Flying Dog CEO said:
Not surprisingly, the alleged complaint -- by a sole individual -- that a product labeled 'Easy IPA Session India Pale Ale' might be mistaken for a soft drink was,
we believe, correctly dismissed by the Portman Group, That should have been the end of it. However, the Portman Group then went on to ban the creative and carefree Easy IPA label art by the internationally-renowned UK artist Ralph Steadman.
Steadman has illustrated all of Flying Dog's labels since 1995. In the ruling, the Portman Group claims that the artwork of this low-ABV beer could be seen as encouraging drunkenness.
over-consumption, binge drinking and drunk-driving are serious health and public safety issues, and Flying Dog has always advocated for moderation and responsible social drinking, Caruso said. At the same time, there is no evidence to suggest that the
whimsical Ralph Steadman art on the Easy IPA label causes any of those problems. We believe that British adults can think for themselves and Flying Dog, an independent U.S. craft brewer, will not honor the Portman Group's request to discontinue shipping
Easy IPA to the UK.
The drinks censors of the Portman Group tried to justify their ban in their summary release:
A complaint about Easy IPA has been upheld by the Independent Complaints Panel.
The complainant, a
member of the public, believed that the drink, which is produced by Flying Dog Brewery, appealed to under 18s. While the Panel concluded that the product did not have direct appeal to under-18s, the Panel investigated whether the product packaging
encouraged immoderate consumption.
The Panel noted that the front of the can contained the terms Easy IPA, and Session IPA, which is a commonly used descriptor in the craft beer category. However, they also noted that the original
meaning of the phrase was a prolonged drinking session. Although the Panel did not consider these terms to be problematic if used in the right context, when used alongside an image of an inebriated looking creature balancing on one leg presented an
indication of drunkenness. Accordingly, Panel upheld the decision.
John Timothy, Secretary to the Independent Complaints Panel, commented: We are disappointed that Flying Dog Brewery do not appear to respect the decision or the
process. Producers need to be extremely sensitive about the overall impact of their labelling. Use of a phrase that could have been innocuous on its own has taken on a different meaning when considered alongside a drunken looking character.
People's medical records will be combined with social and smartphone surveillance to predict who will pick up bad habits and stop them getting ill, under radical government proposals.
Matt Hancock, the health secretary, is planning a system of
predictive prevention, in which algorithms will trawl data on individuals to send targeted health nags to those flagged as having propensities to health problems, such as taking up smoking or becoming obese.
The creepy plans have already attracted
privacy concerns among doctors and campaigners, who say that the project risks backfiring by scaring people or being seen to be abusing public trust in NHS handling of sensitive information.
Peter Rabbit is a 2018 UK / Australia / USA family animation comedy by Will Gluck. Starring Daisy Ridley, Margot Robbie and Elizabeth Debicki.
Feature adaptation of Beatrix Potter's classic tale of a rebellious rabbit
trying to sneak into a farmer's vegetable garden.
Filmmakers behind a new adaptation of Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit have been forced to apologise after facing calls for it to be banned from cinemas over a scene in which the
protagonist and his furry friends deliberately pelt an allergic man with blackberries.
Allergy UK claimed the film mocks allergy sufferers and trivialises a life-threatening condition. Carla Jones, the charity's chief executive, said:
Anaphylaxis can and does kill. To include a scene in a children's film that includes a serious allergic reaction and not to do it responsibly is unacceptable. Mocking allergic disease shows a complete lack of understanding
of the seriousness of allergy and trivialises the challenges faced by those with this condition. We will be communicating with the production company about the film's withdrawal.
Sony Pictures on Sunday night admitted it should not
have made light of Mr McGregor being allergic to blackberries and said it regretted not being more aware and sensitive of the issue.
Peter Rabbit will be show in cinemas in March. It is PG rated for mild threat, comic violence.
UK food censors are whingeing about people's 'Meal Deals' because they claim the promotion will diminish the effectiveness of the government's new nanny tax on sugary drinks.
Carol Williams, Principal Lecturer: Health Promotion and Public Health,
University of Brighton explains:
From April, the UK government's sugar tax will make 500ml bottles of high-sugar drinks cost an extra 14p, and two litre bottles an extra 58p. The higher price is intended to steer people towards
choosing lower-sugar drinks. But promotions, such as meal deals, could make the sugar tax meaningless by negating the price difference.
The drinks industry says the size and scale of the sugar-tax bill is too much for them to
absorb, so they will pass the cost on to retailers. Retailers are likely to do the same and pass the cost onto consumers. This is what Public Health England intended; high-sugar drinks should cost more to make them less attractive to buy. But the tax may
have an unintended consequence on drinks purchased in meal deals, which typically include a sandwich, a snack and a drink.
Our research with students (aged 16-19 and 19-24) found that they decided what to buy in a meal deal based
on price and getting a bargain. Students tend to choose the most expensive drink in order to maximise the cost benefit of the deal, even though they are often aware of the health aspects. When the sugar tax comes into force and full-sugar drinks
cost more, this may create a perverse incentive because choosing the more expensive drink will increase the relative discount/cost effectiveness achieved by buying a meal deal.
Now it is over to retailers and other drinks outlets
to act in the spirit of the sugar tax by passing the higher price on to consumers and keeping a price difference between high- and low-sugar drinks. For meal deals, there are three options: add the sugar tax to the price of the meal deal when a
full-sugar drink is chosen, take sugary drinks that are taxed out of the meal deal, or do nothing and risk encouraging people to choose the full-sugar version, undermining everything PHE is trying to achieve.