Brewdog Pink IPA breached watchdog marketing code

Brewdog has breached the Portman Group’s marketing code after launching a Pink IPA billed as a “beer for girls”.

Two members of the public complained to the group, arguing that the phrase could appeal to under-18s.

The Portman Group’s Independent Complaints Panel acknowledged that Pink IPA was designed to generate discussion around the gender pay gap to tie in with International Women’s Day and recognised that the product was intended to be ironic.

But it decided that this was open to misinterpretation and that the beer created a link between children and alcohol.

The panel ruled that Pink IPA had breached Rule 3.2(h) of its code.

Portman Group chief executive John Timothy said: “The ruling by the panel sets an important precedent around the use of the terms ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ on alcohol labels.

“While we recognise the distinct purpose of the campaign by Brewdog was to draw attention to an important social issue, producers still need to make sure that there is no way that their products could be misinterpreted as appealing to children.

“If in doubt we can offer free advice and guidance to prevent issues arising before products reach the shelf.”

Brewdog and The Portman Group locked horns back in 2014, when the group took umbrage with brewer’s Dead Pony Club pale ale and its slogan “drink fast, live fast”.

The Portman Group said it encouraged “anti-social behaviour and rapid drinking” and put out a bulletin instructing retailers not to stock it.

Brewdog responded by calling The Portman Group “a gloomy gaggle of killjoy jobsworths, funded by navel-gazing international drinks giants”, adding that it has “never given a second thought to any of the grubby newspeak they disseminate periodically”.

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