Cwtch complaint upheld

11/12/2017

A complaint about the packaging of Cwtch Welsh Red Ale (330ml can) has been upheld by the Independent Complaints Panel (Panel) for having a particular appeal to under-18s and indirectly encouraging immoderate consumption.  A copy of the full decision can be read here.

The complainant, a member of the public, believed that the product wasn’t obviously alcoholic, due to the design, and also had a particular appeal to children.

When considering the image of the bear on the front of the can, and its positioning alongside the wording ‘Tiny Rebel’, the Panel agreed that the packaging indirectly encouraged immoderate consumption. The Panel also considered the prominence of the bear above the wording ‘Tiny Rebel’, in combination with the graffiti and swirling primary colours, caused the product to have a particular appeal to under-18s. 

While considering the ruling, the Panel recognised Tiny Rebel’s social responsibility work in their local community and highlighted that they had not deliberately sought to create product packaging which had an appeal to under-18s.

The Portman Group also acknowledged the positive way in which the producer has engaged with the Advisory Service throughout the complaint process and welcomed its early commitment to respect the Panel’s ruling.

Secretary to the Independent Complaints Panel, John Timothy said:

‘‘I welcome the way in which Tiny Rebel Brewing Company has engaged with the Advisory Service throughout this process and their commitment to ensure the Panel ruling is incorporated into wider work to evolve the brand. While it was clearly not the intention of the producer to promote immoderate consumption, even indirectly, companies have to be extremely vigilant around themes that could be attractive to young people, particularly when designing 330ml cans which, in the UK, are traditionally associated with soft drinks.”