Portman pulls rank on scratch-off label

20 April, 2007

Bottles of Belgian lager featuring a picture of woman in a swimsuit have been banned from sale.

The Portman Group's Independent Complaints Panel ordered bottles of Rubbel Sexy Lager to be withdrawn from shelves following complaints from Buckinghamshire Trading Standards.

The drink, produced by Brouwerij Huyghe, allows consumers to scratch off the woman's swimsuit on the label to reveal her naked body.

It was found to breach the Portman Group's rules because both the name and the swimsuit feature were associated with sexual success.

Portman chief executive David Poley said: "Some people might think this is harmless fun, but there is a serious issue involved. Drinking excessively can affect people's judgement and behaviour leading to them engaging in sexual activity which they later regret.

"Our code disallows drinks marketing being linked to sexual success. The industry has set itself strict marketing rules and this drink has fallen short of those high standards."

Geoff Cook, operations manager at importer Beer Paradise, said: "I wouldn't mind, but it's not a multinational beer. We sell four cases a month, but some prude in Buckinghamshire has complained about it. We have been importing it for seven years and no one's ever complained ."

Cook added: " It's a joke beer, people like to buy it for their friends. This is a storm in a teacup."

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