Dorothy Goodbody can remain on beer label, says panel

25 February, 2008

A complaint made to the Portman Group about the label for Dorothy Goodbody Wholesome Stout has been overturned by its complaints panel.

The beer’s producer, Wye Valley Brewery, was asked to defend claims that a drawing on the bottle’s label of a young woman whose dress is pulled back to reveal her thighs was “sexually suggestive”.

However, the brewer’s argument that the image was intended to capture the spirit of fun and innocence of 1950s rural Herefordshire, where the drink is produced, was accepted by the panel.

Portman chief executive David Poley, said: “The independent complaints panel accepted that the image was slightly saucy but in the style of an old-fashioned seaside postcard. Although the drink’s name Goodbody has slight sexual connotations, it also refers to the nature of the drink.

“Overall, the panel decided that because this is just a drawing rather than a real woman, and the sexual connotations are so mild, the drink is not in breach of our code.”

Under the Portman’s Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks, drinks producers are prohibited from suggesting that a drink will lead to sexual success or increased popularity.

They are also banned from marketing alcoholic drinks to under-18s or associating them with illegal drugs, bravado, or antisocial behaviour and must make the alcoholic content of a drink clear, although not dominant.

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