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The UK drinks industry's marketing watchdog has rejected a complaint that a limited-edition bottle design for Pernod Ricard's Absolut Vodka appealed to under-18s. 

The London Absolut bottle, launched in February, was designed by graphic artist Jamie Hewlett and featured seven "iconic characters" in cartoon form, who have defined London culture.  

Charity Alcohol Concern, which lodged the complaint, said the characters featured were in "graphic novel style" and had a strong appeal to children. 

But the Portman Group's independent complaints panel threw out the complaint on the basis that the "illustrative style did not automatically mean they would appeal to under-18s". 

Henry Ashworth, the Portman Group's chief executive, said: "The panel has ruled that Absolut London has not broken responsibility rules and the company worked to ensure that the characters did not appear to be under 25. "

He added: "We advise all producers to be vigilant in developing campaigns and in conveying the alcoholic nature of their products and to contact the Portman Group for pre-launch advice at the earliest stage.”