Personalized gift company Mixpixie has agreed to discontinue its Prescription Gin after a complaint was upheld over its medicine-inspired bottle design.
Industry watchdog the Portman Group has received a complaint from a member of the public against Mixpixie’s Prescription Gin. It was upheld on two counts, the gin having been found to encourage irresponsible and immoderate consumption, and implying that it had therapeutic qualities.
The Independent Complaints Committee (ICP) noted that the bottle was designed to look like a prescription drug due to the shape of the bottle, its name and the use of a green cross on the label, which was an exact copy of the UK Pharmacy Cross.
The bottle also included the text “Take a sip before each exam”. Good luck ! , which the jury considered as an encouragement to drink before an exam.
The front of the bottle also had the words “Possible side effects: may include extreme relaxation, dizziness and happiness.” This implies a link between consumption and recovery from physical and mental ailments, the ICP found.
The gin broke the irresponsible drinking rule because it suggested the drink would make a consumer feel “better”, the panel noted. Also, listing “dizziness” as a “possible side effect” implied that some level of alcohol would have been consumed, the ICP added.
ICP President Nicola Williams said: ‘It is totally irresponsible to present an alcoholic drink as a prescription drug and to suggest that its consumption can cure mental and physical ailments.
“In this case, the product also created a link with irresponsible and immoderate consumption, which was of particular concern when the product encouraged consumption based on health reasons. Caution should be exercised with tongue-in-cheek marketing so that it does not violate the Code.
Following the complaint, Mixpixie said they added the text: “Please note that these are not real prescriptions, these are fake labels intended for use as humorous gin.” Please drink in moderation’ as a mandatory checkbox for the customer before placing the order and on the bottle labels.
Mixpixie has agreed to quit gin and will work with the Portman Group on designing a new label.
In July 2022 complaints against a trio of gins, including two Marks & Spencer liqueurs, were upheld for appealing to under-18s and failing to clearly communicate their alcohol content.