Bartex’s Red Army Vodka breaks alcohol marketing rules for glass bottle shaped as a gun

The Portman Group has ruled that Bartex’s Red Army Vodka has breached alcohol responsibility rules for its association with violence and aggression.

After considering the name, packaging and overall presentation of the product, the Portman Group’s Independent Complaints Panel (ICP) concluded that the name Red Army, in the context of the packaging, together with the packaging itself, were entirely inappropriate for an alcoholic drink, as they suggested a direct association with violent and dangerous behaviour.

In response to the complaint, Bartex stated the product was simply a glass bottle shaped as a gun, sold in a gift pack, and therefore had no association with weapons or violent behaviour.

Henry Ashworth, chief executive of the Portman Group, said: “Strict UK alcohol marketing rules specifically prohibit an alcoholic drink from being sold if it has any association with bravado, or with violent, aggressive, dangerous or anti-social behaviour. On this occasion, the Panel ruled that the product name in the context of the packaging, together with the packaging itself, was too strongly linked to these themes. We therefore appeal to retailers not to stock the product its current packaging after 20 June.”

Bartex said it did not mean to ‘create or promote violence’, stating the company ‘produced alcohol, not weapons’.

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