Portman Ruling Forces M&S Drink Name Change

Marks & Spencer has been ordered to change the name of its canned “porn star martini” drink following a complaint to trade group watchdog the Portman group which said that, if allowed to continue, it would “open the floodgates” to other suggestively named cocktails.

The complaint by a member of the public was upheld in a ruling by the Portman Group in July. It stated that M&S’s Porn Star Martini in a can “contravenes the Portman Code” in that it breached section 3.2d in which an alcoholic product “suggests any association with sexual activity or sexual success”.

“If you continue to allow this, it will open the floodgates to others e.g. Sex on the Beach, Slippery Nipple, Sloe Comfortable Screw, Liquid Viagra etc”, the complaint stated.

A spokesperson from Marks and Spencer said: “Porn Star Martini is a common name for a passionfruit cocktail drink. Our product launched in September 2018 and quickly became one of our most popular cocktails.

“However, as a Portman Group co-signatory, we respect the ruling and will be changing the name to Passion Star Martini.”

A spokesperson for Portman Group commented: “This decision by the Independent Complaints Panel reminds producers that they should always steer away from using imagery or names that are associated with sexual activity in marketing and labelling.

“Producers should think carefully about what is conveyed by the overall impression of the product and speak to our advisory service if in any doubt.

“We are pleased that the Marks and Spencer Group have been working with us to amend the name of the product.”