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19th December 2022

Complaint against Piggin’ Drunk Ale upheld

A complaint by Aberdeenshire Alcohol & Drug Partnership against Piggin’ Drunk Ale was upheld by the alcohol industry’s Independent Complaints Panel (ICP). A copy of the full decision is available here.

The drink was produced by Cottage Delight and the complaint was upheld against Code rule 3.2(f) for encouraging immoderate consumption.

The Panel considered that the name ‘PigginDrunk Ale’, as well as use of the phrase on the side of the bottle which read “this little piggy is hogging all the beer”, created an association with immoderate consumption and binge-drinking. The Panel expressed significant concern regarding an alcoholic product that incorporated the word ‘drunk’ in its name which created a link to excessive consumption of alcohol. The Panel therefore concluded there was a clear-cut breach of Code rule 3.2(f).

The complaint was not upheld under Code rule 3.2(h) (particular appeal to under-18s). Whilst the product featured a pig depicted in an illustrated style, the colour palette was a muted design, and the Panel considered that neither this nor any other element of the packaging had a particular appeal to under-18s.

Commenting on the decision, the Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel, Nicola Williams, said: “This product made multiple references to immoderate consumption and drunkenness, and therefore was a clear breach of the Code. I welcome the producer’s swift assurance that the product has been discontinued and that it will work with the Portman Group’s Advisory Service regarding any future designs.”

Cottage Delight was invited to comment and said “We can confirm that we have taken swift action to discontinue the product. Furthermore, we have given our assurances to the Portman Group that we will work closely with them and check the compliance of any future product designs.”

Aberdeenshire Alcohol & Drug Partnership was invited to comment and said “Naturally we are pleased that the panel have upheld our complaint. It’s disappointing that some producers of a hazardous product continue to promote alcohol with apparent disregard to consumer health and Portman rules. It’s therefore pleasing that this decision comes at the time that the Scottish Government is consulting on proposals to regulate alcohol advertising and promotion in the interests of consumer health (”


Notes to editors

  1. Images provided
  2. A spokesperson is available for interviews upon request.
  3. The Portman Group was formed in 1989. It is the alcohol industry regulator and social responsibility body. It has over 160 Code signatories from producers, retailers and membership bodies.
  4. The Portman Group is funded by 17 member companies: Asahi UK Ltd; Aston Manor Cider; Bacardi; Brown-Forman; Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I; Campari; C&C; Diageo GB; Edrington UK; Heineken UK; Mark Anthony Brands International; Mast-Jäegermeister UK; Molson Coors Beverage Company; Pernod Ricard UK; SHS Drinks; Thatchers’; and Treasury Wine Estates.
  5. The Code of Practice for the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks was first published in 1996. In 2021, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Code. The Code seeks to ensure that alcohol is promoted in a socially responsible way, only to those aged 18 and over, and in a way that does not appeal particularly to those who are vulnerable. The Code has helped create an industry that works effectively within the context of a self-regulatory model, while encouraging design, innovation and creativity. This has been done in an effective, responsive and inexpensive way.
  • Effectively – over 170 products have been amended or removed from the market. Many hundreds more have been helped to adhere to the Code before appearing on shelves through the support of the Advisory Service;
  • Responsively – there have been five updates to the Code over 25 years responding to changes in public attitudes and expanding its reach; all without recourse to Government or Parliamentary time;
  • Inexpensively – the leading members of the industry are currently funding the model for all to be protected at no cost to the public purse.

Press release from Portman Group.

For more information contact:

Joseph Meaden

Mobile: 07709 525971