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Watchdog asks for Scheckter’s beer to be removed from shelves

A child’s drawing could see organic beers from Formula 1 ace Jody Scheckter removed from shelves, following a complaint to the industry watchdog.

The beer, made at Mr Scheckter’s Laverstoke Park Farm near Overton, features a child’s drawing on the label; the drawing also appears on other products from the farm including brie, milk and apple juice.

The Portman Group, the industry-funded alcohol watchdog received a complaint about the bottles, because the cartoon drawing appears on other products as well as the beer.

The Group claims this breaches marketing rules because it could appeal to children. But Scheckter disagrees with the claim and has blamed the “big boys” in the industry.

Scheckter said: “No one in their right mind believes four-year-olds will drink beer because of our label. The big boys want to show they are doing something and so they’re going after the small people.

“We don’t sell anything to children. We sell expensive organic produce.”

The beer has been on sale for almost five years and more than 170,000 bottles have been sold. Scheckter now faces an expensive rebranding exercise after the Portman Group issued a Retailer Alert Bulletin about the beer.

Mr Scheckter has promised to fight the Portman Group. In a letter to them, he said: “This reaction to products that have been on sale for almost five years and sold over 170,000 bottles versus a single complaint, seems excessive to say the least.

“No retailers have reported problems with under-18s attempting to buy Laverstoke ale or lager.”

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