Send your news, photos and videos by texting bucksfreepress to 80360 or email
Sexy beer stripped off the shelves
10:00am Tuesday 17th April 2007 in News
BOTTLES of a saucy Belgian beer have been stripped from off licence shelves in Bucks for being too sexy.
A trading standards officer spotted the risqué bottles of "Rubbel Sexy Lager" in an off licence in January and decided to report it to the Portman Group, the regulatory body for the alcohol industry.
The bottles of beer, produced by Brouwerij Huyghe, feature images of a blonde woman wearing a swimsuit, which can be scratched off to reveal her naked body.
Geoff Cook, general manager of Beer Paradise Ltd which distributes the beer, said: "It is not a national beer and we only sell about four cases of it a month, it just goes into local off licences around the country. We think of it as a novelty beer and you have to be over 18 to buy beer."
Terry Carter, assistant head of Buckinghamshire Trading Standards, said: "The officer came across the beer and had in his mind that it might breach the alcohol advertising code of practice and so he reported it.
"This is not a Trading Standards matter, but we welcome the decision under the Portman Group's code of practice."
The racy booze has now been withdrawn from sale following an investigation by the group.
The Independent Complaints Panel ruled that the name of the drink and the swimsuit feature were associated with sexual success. It has now been banned under the Portman Group's code of practice on the naming, packaging and promotion of alcoholic drinks.
David Poley, chief executive of the Portman Group, said that this type of marketing is unacceptable.
He said: "Some people might think this is harmless fun, but there is a serious issue involved. Drinking excessively can affect people's judgement and behaviour leading to them engaging in sexual activity which they later regret.
"Our code disallows drinks marketing being linked to sexual success. The industry has set itself strict marketing rules and this drink has fallen short of those high standards."
Oliver Strange, manager of the Wine Rack off licence in West Wycombe Road, Stokenchurch, said he thought the beer was more of a novelty item than anything else.
He said: "I think it's all just a bit of fun. We don't get a say in what we stock and didn't sell it here. But I think its shelf life would be short lived, people might buy it for a bit of fun but then got back to drinking Stella after a while."