A ruling by the Portman Group's complaints panel in the UK has thrown the future of test-tube drink producers into doubt.

The Independent Complaints Panel at the trade body ruled today (14 October) that a test-tube alcoholic drink called Mmwah could not easily be put down on a flat surface, meaning consumers were likely to drink its contents in one go. The product's test-tube packaging contravenes a change in the Portman Group's code of practice, introduced last year, to prevent companies from promoting rapid or down-in-one drinking in their marketing.

The complaint against Mmwah was lodged by Alcohol Focus Scotland, which has subsequently complained against four other companies which use test-tubes for their beverages.

"The panel considered the design of Mmwah's packaging made it difficult for consumers not to down the drink," said the Portman Group's chief executive David Poley. "The industry shouldn't be urging this potentially harmful style of consumption. The panel will therefore clarify the position on these other test-tube products as soon as possible."

Mmwah is manufactured by Harwood Drinks. The full Independent Complaints Panel ruling can be read here.