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22nd March 2013


Jody Scheckter refuses to comply with The Portman Group’s ruling on   labeling based on one single complaint.

“We have been selling Laverstoke Park beer and ale for over five years.  During that time we have only had one single complaint, this was received by the Portman Group.

After several meetings, a lot of debate and over £30,000 spent on legal fees, we decided that to change our ale and lager label was not a viable option for us.  It is not just the cost of the change (it would cost the farm tens of thousands of pounds in rebranding) but the loss of our brand identity in having our iconic Mr. Laverstoke taken off the bottle; the Portman Group contested that he cannot appear much more significantly than he does on the bottle cap which is 4mm.

Importantly I must state that if I personally thought for one minute that our label was encouraging under 18s to drink, I would look at it differently. I simply do not agree that is the case.  Our product is not sold as an alcopop and contest that teenagers would find the branding hip or trendy enough to purchase.

As a structure, the Portman Group is independent.  This means that they are not accountable to anyone or need to supply qualitative and or quantitative evidence to support their rulings.  I have had to waste a huge amount of time and money on this whole mess and I am angry that a body with no legislative power can just come along and make arbitrary decisions that we, a small producer, are then left with the consequences of, in my opinion, ill-informed and unjustified views.
So, until the alcohol companies which sponsor the Portman Group and the multiples put pressure on them to remedy their rules or interpret them in accordance with the ASA regulations  and also in accordance with the original aims of Portman Group, I believe they will carry on making decisions that have nothing to do with promoting responsible drinking.

If the multiples stop selling our beer as a consequence, I respect and accept their position.”

Jody Scheckter, Founder

For more information / interview please contact-

Victoria Prior at Magnolia PR
T 020 7751 5839 / 07771 970 152

Kind Regards

Victoria Prior

Magnolia PR
307 Harbour Yard
Chelsea Harbour
SW10 0XD

T. +44 (0)20 7751 5839