Stiffy’s vodka ruled irresponsible over sexually suggestive name

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Stiffy’s vodka liqueur products will be removed from sale after a ruling from the drinks watchdog said the name is inappropriately linked to sexual success.

 

A drinks manufacturer complained that the brand name Stiffy’s was an overtly sexual reference - banned under the Portman Group Code - and the Independent Complaints Panel upheld this.

 

The Panel noted that ‘stiffy’ was a common slang term for an erection and considered that the brand name had strong sexual connotations. The company, Stiffy’s Shots Ltd (trading as VC2) maintained that the brand name had been chosen because ‘Stiffy’ was the nickname of a person involved in the drink’s development - not for its sexual connotations. While the Panel acknowledged the company may not have deliberately linked the product with sexuality, the brand name alluded to sexual success and in so doing breached the responsibility Code.

 

Henry Ashworth, chief executive of the Portman Group, which provides the secretariat for the Independent Complaints Panel, said: “It is totally inappropriate for alcohol marketing to allude to sexual success and following this ruling and our enforcement action, Stiffy’s products will be removed from sale in their current form. We would urge anyone who comes across examples of irresponsible alcohol marketing to complain immediately to the Portman Group.”

“Alcohol companies must be extremely vigilant about marketing their products responsibly and we encourage companies and their agencies to contact our fast, free and confidential advisory service which last year alone handled over 500 requests for advice.”


Licensees and retailers have been instructed not to place orders for stocks of Stiffy’s Jaffa Cake and Stiffy’s Kola Kubez in their current packaging after December 31 2011. The company, in consultation with the Portman Group’s Advisory Service, has changed the brand name to Stivy’s.


For more information go to the Portman Group's website.

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