Amstel lite packaging must be changed: ASA

By Drum Digital
13 February 2015

Brandhouse Beverages has been ordered to change the way its Amstel Lite cans and the shrink wrap in which the beer's six-packs of cans and bottles are packaged, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled.

This was after SA Breweries (SAB) lodged a complaint about the packaging of Brandhouse's Amstel Lite product.

SAB complained that Brandhouse had used the same colours, specific colour shades and colour combination which closely resembled its Castle Lite product.

According to SAB: "... [This] renders the products indistinguishable in trade.

"These products are often packed and displayed in close proximity to one another, which further renders them indistinguishable in trade."

Brandhouse argued that Amstel's primary colours had always been green, gold and black, with secondary colours of red and blue.

It said consumer research had also shown that the combination of blue, or green and silver were widely associated with lite beer in the international market.

"The final design was decided on only after extensive consumer surveys were conducted, and the design was affected by manufacturing concerns which had to be taken into account," Brandhouse argued.

"An enormous amount of independent effort was expended by the respondent, its designers and its market research agency in the preparation of the Amstel Lite packaging."

The ASA found that Brandhouse had contravened clause eight of section II of the Code of Advertising Practice.

"The directorate therefore finds that the Amstel Lite six-pack shrink wrapping and Amstel Lite cans exploit the advertising goodwill of the complainant's Castle Lite six-pack shrink wrapping and its Castle Lite cans," it said in its ruling.

Brandhouse was ordered to withdraw the packaging of Amstel Lite with immediate effect, and that this be completed no later than a week after the date of the ASA order, or from a date soon thereafter.

It was also ordered not to use the packaging again in its current format.

-SAPA

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