Drygate Disco Fork Lift falls foul of Portman rules

The Portman Group has upheld a complaint against Glasgow-based Drygate Brewing’s Disco Fork Lift Truck mango pale ale on the grounds that its can could have “particular appeal” to under-18s.

It made the judgment on the basis of the pack’s “combination of colours, the language used, and the nature and behaviour of the cartoon illustrations”.

The complaint was brought by the Aberdeenshire Alcohol & Drug Partnership.

Portman’s independent complaints panel also upheld a complaint from the body that Disco Fork Lift Truck’s packaging suggested an association with dangerous behaviour.

Drygate is in the process of redesigning the artwork for the can as a result.

Portman chief executive John Timothy said: “Innovative and colourful designs are not problematic in themselves, but producers have to be mindful of the overall impression of the product and design.

“I commend Drygate for the responsible and constructive way in which they’ve responded to this complaint and the speed with which they’ve committed to amend the design.”

In a separate recent ruling, the Portman panel ruled that the label for Isle of Man distiller Seven Kingdom’s Cronk Y Voddy vodka made a “direct association with drink-driving and dangerous behaviour”.

It also ruled that the brand’s website “implied that the producer condoned dangerous behaviour”.

The complaints were bought by another Isle of Man producer, Kella Distillers, over Cronk Y Voddy’s sponsorship of Andrew Dudgeon, a competitor in the famous, and notoriously dangerous, Isle of Man TT motor bike race.

Portman said the sponsorship itself was not problematic but the way it was communicated on the website and the brand’s label – which included the text: “The spirit of the races, designed to red-line your taste buds” – contravened its codes.

Timothy said: “While producers can sponsor and create associations with driving events either on their labelling or websites, they have to be incredibly careful that there is no suggestion that the product encourages dangerous or reckless behaviour.”

But Kella Distillers failed to gain the support of the Portman panel over another complaint against an Isle of Man rival, Fynoderee Distillery, that the packaging for its Manx Bumbee vodka appealed to under-18s.