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UK: Portman Group attacks "Viagra pop"

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The UK drinks industry watchdog The Portman Group has ruled against the controversial "Viagra Pop" Roxxoff and asked retailers not to stock the drink.

The drink claims on its website to boost sexual performance, and uses phrases such as "herbal libido boosters" while talking of creating a "race of randy super beings". The claims have led to a number of complaints including one from the spirits industry leader Diageo.

The Portman group has decided that the name Roxxoff is a play on the phase to "get your rocks off" and had "clear sexual connotations".

However, the company behind the drink, Yours Alternatively, says it will continue with its launch, which is planned for next week. It says its brand is targeted a pubs and bars only.

Chris Williams, marketing manager for Yours Alternatively hit back at the Portman Group. He said: "I think the Portman Group is an old boys' club and a collection of puppets.

"It is quite laughable that they are trying to protect the commercial status of their members while at the same time contributing to underage drinking by allowing other alcopop products to be sold in shops."

Meanwhile the Portman group also attacked the ready-to-drink brand WKD for the content on its website.

The site features an interactive "breast-matching" game, pole-dancing and risqué electronic postcards. The Portman Group said the site linked the drink with sexual performance and was likely to appeal to under 18s.

Jean Coussins, chief executive of the Portman Group, said: "This is a double first for the code. Not only is this the first time that websites have been found in breach, but in the case of Roxxoff it is also the first time that retailers have been told they should not stock the product before it has even officially been launched.


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