COMMENT: RTDs stirring young passions
A wave of new aphrodisiac alcopops is set to hit the bars and clubs in the UK this summer, as manufacturers decide to openly target young clubbers. However, the move has been condemned for contravening existing industry guidelines.
Clubbers looking for a good time will be able to get a liquid boost this summer, as alcopop manufacturers release "performance enhancing" drinks. Dubbed 'Viagrapops', these drinks will contain not medicine but Chinese herbs such as ginseng and cordyceps, which - so the manufacturers would have us believe - enjoy aphrodisiac properties.
The logic underlying the concept is clear enough - the young people who make up the target market for alcopops are not the most reserved consumer group, and the concept should arouse their interest.
The marketing and advertising of these drinks will be very direct - the message for "Roxxoff" from Lynch Wines asks whether it will create a 'generation of randy superbeings'. It is certainly true that the dancing prowess displayed on the club dance floor has a purpose beyond entertainment and an alcoholic drink that openly acknowledges this is unlikely to backfire.
However, the brewers may have missed a step - certain issues will have to be addressed, the most forbidding being The Portman Group - the alcohol industry body set up to promote sensible drinking. Its guidelines include admonitions against portraying products as being linked with sexual success or able to enhance prowess. Alcohol Concern has also spoken out, saying that already many teenagers say they regret having unprotected sex while drunk.
These bodies are certainly powerful voices, but in the face of their comments, Lynch Wine has stiffened its resolve. It says that the drink is clearly aimed at young adults and is not intended to "fool kids into thinking it's lemonade." Lynch Wine's attitude is understandable - after all, rightly or wrongly, this product is likely to achieve considerable success.
Companies: The Portman Group
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