Portman Group bans Four Loko

27 February, 2014

The Portman Group has banned Chicago drinks maker Phusion Projects from marketing its Four Loko RTD brand in the UK.

The body received three complaints about the brand, saying that “Loko” sounds like “loco”, the Spanish word for “crazy” or “mad”.

“The independent complaints panel considered that the Oxford English Dictionary definition of ‘loco’, listed as ‘crazy, or off one’s head’, was problematic when used in relation to an alcoholic drink, as it could suggest irresponsible or immoderate consumption, and that care must be taken when using the word on packaging or promotional material,” the Portman Group said in statement.

Chief executive Henry Ashworth said: “Marketing an alcoholic drink which could in any way encourage irresponsible or immoderate consumption is not allowed under UK marketing codes and producers must be particularly vigilant.  

“In this case, the panel ruled that the way the product was currently packaged, together with its brand feel, was too closely associated with irresponsible drinking. As a consequence, we will request retailers not to stock the product after May 27 in its current packaging.” 

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