Only one drinks company in the US refused to pull its adverts in the second half of last year when challenged by the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS).

The US industry body said yesterday (29 March) that a total of 16 complaints were made about alcohol adverts in the country in the second half of 2006. Of those 16, nine were ruled as being in violation of the body's code review board. One of those nine, Bong Spirit Company, did not take corrective action, the board noted.

When challenged by a complaint from a member of the public in New York, who suggested that the marketing of a beverage in a bottle shaped as a bong was "irresponsible", the company said it viewed the shape as  "pop icon imagery". The board found in favour of the complainant, but no further response was received from Bong Spirit once informed of the board's decision.

"While this recent report continued to show 100% compliance by Distilled Spirits Council members with code review board decisions, importantly, there also was overwhelming compliance by non-members," said DISCUS president and CEO Peter Cressy.

"These results show that the code review process continues to have a positive and significant impact in the marketplace and that the industry's self-regulation works."

The code review board is made up of senior member company representatives, who review complaints about advertising and marketing materials in the marketplace. The code also has an advisory board made up of independent experts from academia, government and broadcasting.