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'Crack Ice FAB under fire for hard drug imagery'

The Wine And Spirit Weekly
27th September 2002, No. 6070 Page 5
(Editor: Tim Atkin MW)

Crack Ice, the new FAB from Soho Drinks Ltd, has been criticised by both the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) and the Portman Group. Based on the previously banned Irish spirit, poteen, the drink caused a number of complaints to the two bodies for both its packaging and controversial advertising campaign.

The Portman Group's Independent Panel has decided that the word 'crack' together with the words 'buzz' and 'illicit' on the front and rear labels, suggested an association with the illegal drug, crack cocaine.

Jean Coussins, director of the Portman Group, said: 'The Producers of Crack Ice have halted production of the drink and are currently seeking advice from (our) advisory service'.

Adverts for the drink which appeared mostly in magazines, showed a fox sitting in an alley with the words: 'Now being sold legally in pubs and clubs. Warning: this product contains a serious alcohol'.

The ASA upheld readers complaints that the 'warning' suggested people who tried the drink were brave, and also agreed that both 'crack' and 'ice' were 'street' terms for crack cocaine.

Arthur Crack Ltd, the parent company of the producer, said 'crack' was in fact the anglicised version of the Irish term 'craic' and had nothing to do with cocaine.

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Note: The Advertising Agency (ASA) and the Portman Group have now resolved the issues betwenn themselves and the manufacturers of Crack Ice

Producers Note: Knockeen Hills Irish Poteen was not the poteen constituent part of Crack Ice

The above is an extract of an article that appeared in the 27th September 2002 issue of 'Harpers' The Wine & Spirit Journal.