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12th April 2024

Complaint not upheld against Twickenham Brewery’s ‘Naked Ladies’ pump clip

A complaint against Twickenham Brewery’s ‘Naked Ladies’ pump clip has not been upheld by the alcohol industry’s Independent Complaint Panel (ICP), following a complaint from a member of the public. The full decision can be read here.

The complaint raised concerns that the name, branding and design of the pump clip were inappropriately sexualised and could cause offence and embarrassment for customers and staff when ordering the product in a pub or bar, under Code rule 3.3 – causing serious or widespread offence. The Panel did not uphold the complaint.

The Panel discussed the product name ‘Naked Ladies’ and noted the company’s submission that the beer was one of several which it named after local landmarks, in this case a well-known and colloquial term used to describe a group of statues in Twickenham. The Panel noted the packaging and company website incorporated descriptive language designed to explain the historical context of the statue, and while limited space on the pump clip didn’t include this – the reference of Twickenham in the company’s name did provide some context.

The Panel also discussed the artwork on the pump clip which depicted one of the referenced local statues. The Panel considered the Portman Group’s accompanying guidance to Code rule 3.3 and noted that to breach the rule in relation to sexual objectification the packaging or marketing would need to incorporate elements that were demeaning, derogatory, gratuitous or overly sexualised. The Panel considered that the design was artistically stylised and akin to art deco, with no identifying detail added to any of the statue’s features or undue focus on its pelvic or breast area.

As such the Panel considered that the depiction of the statue and the name ‘Naked Ladies’ did not cause serious or widespread offence. Accordingly, the complaint was not upheld under Code rule 3.3.

Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel, Rachel Childs said: “It’s vitally important under the Code that producers ensure their products do not cause serious or widespread offence and in relation to sexual objectification, that they don’t incorporate elements which are demeaning, derogatory, gratuitous or overly sexualised. In this case, the Panel concluded that the overall impression of the Naked Ladies pump clip did not fall foul of the Code and did not uphold the complaint.”

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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 20 member and associate member companies: Asahi UK Ltd; Aston Manor Cider; Bacardi; Beam Suntory; Brown-Forman; Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I; Campari; Coca-Cola GB; C&C; Diageo GB; Edrington UK; Heineken UK; Mark Anthony Brands International; Mast-Jäegermeister UK; Molson Coors Beverage Company; Pernod Ricard UK; Punch Pubs & Co; 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.

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