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Healey’s Texan-style Hard Cyder breaches marketing rules for alcoholic strength promotion

Healey’s Texan-style Hard Cyder has breached alcohol responsibility rules for making alcoholic strength the dominant theme, the Portman Group has said.

The Group received a complaint about the Cyder, saying that while in the USA, ‘hard cider’ is alcoholic cider, while ‘cider’ is simply apple-juice, this is not the case in the UK. The complainant said that in some areas of the UK, the word ‘hard’ is taken to mean aggressive or tough and suggested that this could make young people feel that they would become touch by drinking the cider.

Healey’s said it was using the American terminology, and felt that to suggest that under-18s would not understand the ‘hard’ cider message as defining an alcoholic product was unreasonable and not supported by any evidence-based research.

The Portman Group Panel said: “While in some UK regions, the term ‘hard’ could imply a person who was violent and aggressive, this term was not universally recognised, whereas ‘hard’ in the context of an alcoholic drink had direct associations with strong alcohol thereby making alcoholic strength the dominant theme on the packaging.”

Licensees and retailers have been informed not to place orders for Healey’s Texan-style Hard Cyder in its current form after 15 April 2012.