Scheckter rails against Portman

05 April, 2013

Ex Formula 1 racing driver Jody Scheckter has refused to alter the packaging for his Laverstoke Park beer range despite a ruling from the Portman Group’s independent complaints panel that it could appeal to children.

Scheckter, the F1 world champion in 1979, produces the beers under the name of his organic farm in Hampshire.

The panel ruled in February that the label of a cartoon farmer could appeal to under-18s.

Scheckter said his company’s legal fees for the case had topped £30,000 and that changing the labels would cost thousands more and erode the beers’ brand identity.

He added: “I have had to waste a huge amount of time and money on this whole mess and I am angry that a body with no legislative power can just come along and make arbitrary decisions that we, a small producer, are then left with the consequences of.

“If the multiples stop selling our beer as a consequence, I respect and accept their position.”

Portman chief executive Henry Ashworth said at the time of the ruling in February: “While a child’s drawing may be acceptable for marketing organic apple juice it is entirely inappropriate for alcoholic drinks’ labels. There are no exceptions to the rule that alco- hol packaging must not appeal to children.”

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