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Stiffy’s vodka banned over suggestive name

Sales of Stiffy’s Jaffa Cake and Kola Kubez vodka liqueurs have been banned by The Portman Group after the drinks watchdog ruled the name was inappropriately linked to sex.

The group’s independent complaints panel upheld a complaint that the name “Stiffy” was an overtly sexual reference, forbidden under the Portman Group Code.

The producer of the vodka, Stiffy’s Shots Ltd, said the name had been chosen because “Stiffy” was the nickname of a person involved in the drink’s development, rather than for its sexual connotations.

While the panel acknowledged the company might not have deliberately linked the product with sexuality, the brand name alluded to sexual success and in so doing breached the responsibility code.

“Alcohol companies must be vigilant about marketing their products. It’s totally inappropriate for alcohol marketing to allude to sexual success and following this ruling and our enforcement action, Stiffy’s products will be removed from sale in their current form,” Henry Ashworth, chief executive of the Portman Group said.

“We would urge anyone who comes across examples of irresponsible alcohol marketing to complain immediately to the Portman Group,” Ashworth added.

Retailers have been instructed not to place orders for stocks of Stiffy’s Jaffa Cake and Stiffy’s Kola Kubez vodka in their current packaging after 31 December.

The company has changed the brand name to Stivy’s.

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