Oakham Ales told to rethink design for Thrill Seeker cans

Another craft beer has had to face examination by the Portman Group, after a member of the public complained that the artwork could appeal to under 18s. The complaint, which has been upheld, was about a 33cl can of Thrill Seeker by Oakham Ales and it is the latest in of a number of complaints against craft beers for the same reason.

With regards to Thrill Seeker, the complainant said: “I found the printing design (stylised brightly-coloured spacemen floating in space against a black background) to be targeted towards under-18s. In addition, the product name “Thrill Seeker Pale” in bright orange also attracted underage consumers. The product name does not in any way indicate this is an alcoholic product (Pale Ale). At the local primary school fete I witness children asking for this product, based purely on the can design and printing.”

The Panel upheld the complaint, having decided that although the product did not have particular appeal to under-18s, they felt it was not clear that the product was alcoholic due to the busy label together with the type of illustrations and colours on the can.

The Panel said: “Because of the size of the can (33cl) and the nature of the busy label, together with the type of illustrations, the packaging needed to work harder to convey the alcoholic nature of the contents, given the overall look and feel of the product.”

The Panel also expressed concern that the description used, “New World Pale”, might not be widely understood by the average consumer to adequately convey that the can contained an alcoholic drink. The Panel thought including the word “Ale” would have given more clarity to the fact the can contained alcohol.

It also considered the name “Thrill Seeker” was inappropriate because it associated alcohol with thrill seeking and “the name implies risk or danger”.

The company has voluntarily agreed to remove the product from its range. 

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