Encouraging Irresponsible Consumption
Pernod Ricard brand is found to incite “irresponsible” alcohol consumption, after NGO filed complaint.
A complaint by Alcohol Change UK that Jameson Irish whiskey’s Barrelback promotional material encouraged irresponsible consumption has been upheld by the Independent Complaints Panel. Pernod Ricard, one of the world’s largest alcohol producers, is the parent company of Jameson.
An on-trade offer gave consumers the chance to buy a single measure of Jameson whiskey in a small metal barrel that could be hooked onto a pint glass.
The offer material featured the words “Try a Jameson Barrelback. A measure of Jameson with your pint. No more either or.”
Alcohol Change UK argued that the promotion encourages consumers to “try a measure of Jameson with your pint”, therefore adding an extra unit of alcohol to the approximate 2.5 units in a pint of beer. As such, the person’s alcohol intake would increase by around 40%.
The Independent Complaints Panel considered the complaint. They believed,
- Majority of UK consumers would not be familiar with the serve and that the point-of-sale material looked “more akin to a chaser”, where the consumer would down the shot of whiskey before consuming the beer.
- The words “no more either or” on the material suggested consumers did not have to choose between different alcoholic beverages, and encouraged them to consume more alcohol than they would have otherwise.
According to the above considerations the panel, upheld the complaint under Code Rule 3.2(f) for “encouraging irresponsible consumption as the promotional material needed to communicate the sipping nature of the serve”.
This decision by the Independent Complaints Panel highlights that producers should ensure that promotions and point-of-sale material do not encourage irresponsible [alcohol intake],” said a spokesperson from the Portman Group as per The Spirits Business.
Pernod Ricard UK will not be using this material for promotions and has agreed to obtain advise for future promotional material.