There was a time when a little well-placed bravado would have been celebrated…Apparently not in the UK where a beer’s name Thrill Seeker Pale Ale has been indicted for its association with bravado.
Welcome to the “nanny state.’
The Portman Group, a UK regulatory organization set up in 1989 to promote responsible drinking practices has upheld a complaint against Oakham Ale’s Thrill Seeker Pale Ale
The self-regulatory body with 100% self-righteousness and zero legal sway, looked into the matter, examining the beer complaint on three counts:
- Whether the alcoholic nature of the drink was communicated with “absolute clarity”
- Whether the drink or its packaging suggested any association with bravado or with violent, aggressive, dangerous, anti-social or illegal behavior
- Whether the packaging directly or indirectly had a particular appeal to under-18s.
In its submission, Oakham Ales argued that it had always used creative, story-telling designs on its cans. Thrill Seeker New World Pale’s imaging featured a black and orange spaceman based on an existing character that had been used on several of the brewer’s other products.
But evidently this time around that spaceman was just too ‘thrilling.”
Oakham also explained that “the product name was chosen by customers and that the images were the result of extensive market research, with the brewery making minor changes to its branding” according to the Drinks Business. “The term ‘thrill seeker’ was used in reference to travel, new places and the connection with use of hops from the New World.”
Oakham Ales also explained that it had sought guidance before releasing the product.
The brewery had contacted the advisory service which said that the product did not have a direct appeal to the under-18s.
Oakham had also amended the packaging to make the ABV more prominent, added a Drinkaware alcohol education logo on the can, and even sought the assistance from innovation and research group, Campden BRI, to ensure its labels were compliant with regulations.
No US brewery has ever jumped through those kinds of hoops, and even after that the Portman Group still upheld two of the three complaints against the UK brewery.
Portman’s panel ruled that Oakham needed to “work harder to convey the alcoholic nature of the contents, given the overall look and feel of the product.” And the regulatory body added that the beer’s name ‘thrill seeker’ was “inappropriate”, as it implied risk or danger.
The panel also noted that the advisory service had previously raised concerns over the name, advising the company not to use it, but Oakham had chosen not to follow the advice.
Responding to the Portman Group’s ruling, Oakham has agreed to remove ‘Thrill Seeker’ from its canned product range.
Again…Welcome to the “nanny state”
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