The Halewood International product is the latest drinks brand to fall foul of the Portman Group’s Independent Complaints Panel, which has upheld a complaint by a member of the public that the drink is “really badly labelled and it is very hard to see that there is alcohol in it”.
Halewood International disputed the claim, arguing that the packaging features clear references to vodka, but the panel decided that these were inadequate because they were mostly in small print on the side of the packaging.
Portman has asked retailers not to place orders for Reloaded with the existing packaging after Nov 15, and Halewood says new stocks will be available before then.
Halewood chief executive John Halewood said: “The pack design for the Reloaded brand has already been updated to take account of the complaint. Retailers can continue to order this product from us with absolute confidence that the compliant product will be available to them ahead of the deadline set by the Portman Group.”
David Poley, chief executive of Portman, said: “The Independent Complaints Panel considered that the alcoholic nature of this drink should be displayed more prominently. They are worried that consumers might mistake it for a soft drink. The industry needs to guard against accusations that its products are masquerading as soft drinks.”