Dead Man's Fingers Super Spiced Rum, 70cl
About this deal
Six years of aging in oak barrels gives this rum a deep smokiness and buttery vanilla quality with a full-bodied, rounded finish. Familiar notes of caramel, orange, and nutmeg are still prominent, while warming oak, cinnamon, and ginger have been turned up to eleven. Commenting on the decision, the Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel, Nicola Williams, said: “We are supportive of producers being creative and using this in all aspects of a product and design, including naming. This case shows that producers can be edgy to appeal to their customers as there was no association with dangerous behaviour.” A complaint by a member of the public against Dead Man’s Fingers Super Spiced Rum and Dead Man’s Fingers Tequila Reposado was not upheld by the alcohol industry’s Independent Complaints Panel (ICP). Both products were considered under the rule regarding association with dangerous behaviour, whilst the rum product was also reviewed as to whether it gave undue emphasis to its higher alcoholic strength. A copy of the full decisions is available here and here.
Dead Man’s Fingers products not upheld Complaint against Dead Man’s Fingers products not upheld
The producer stated that the Dead Man’s Fingers range was generally edgy and bold and that the name of the brand related to the inedible part of a crab, which in folklore would lead to the death of someone who consumed them. The producer said that neither the design nor brand name was threatening, violent, aggressive or dangerous or encouraged such behaviour.
The Panel considered whether the highlighted danger in the name was supported by other cues, given that both products had a singular image of different types of skulls. In reviewing both bottles, the Panel considered that the skulls were used to create an edgy brand feel to appeal to its target market of young adults. The Panel concluded that the overall impression of the bottles did not create an association, either directly or indirectly, with dangerous behaviour, and therefore did not breach Code rule 3.2(b). The Panel considered that the word ‘danger’ in and of itself did not go far enough to create an association with a type of dangerous behaviour and noted the distinct difference between ‘danger’ in principle and an association with behaviour that would be considered dangerous before or after alcohol consumption.
Dead Man’s Fingers Super Spiced Rum 70cl | VIP Bottles
Halewood Artisanal Spirits was invited to comment and said “We agree with the panel’s finding and in our opinion this was never a breach of the code. DMF’s edgy design is integral to the success of the brand and often these good intentioned processes are open to abuse, by less successful competitors under a disguise of a consumer.” – comment provided at the discretion of PG to retain and publish. In conclusion, the Panel considered that whilst the 43% ABV was clear on the front of the bottle this was proportionate and that there were no other visual or written cues that placed undue emphasis on the product’s higher alcoholic strength. The Panel therefore concluded that the product did not breach Code rule 3.2(a). Action by Company:The company concluded by stating that no breach of the Code had occurred due to the reasons highlighted above. The Panel’s assessment:
Dead Man’s Fingers Super Spiced Rum - Portman Group » Dead Man’s Fingers Super Spiced Rum - Portman Group
Produced during partnership with legendary music magazine Kerrang!, this Super Spiced Rum is a bold reinvention of the sweet, smooth, and spicy spirit that’s made Dead Man’s Finger the UK’s top cult favourite rum.The Panel discussed skull imagery more generally and noted that a skull and cross bones was sometimes used in popular culture to indicate danger or a warning. However, the Panel considered that in this instance, the skull was reminiscent of imagery used in horror films and created an edgy brand feel to appeal to its target market of young adults. The Panel considered the overall impression conveyed by the product in combination with the skull imagery and noted that no part of the product implied that it was dangerous to consume or implied any potential effect that drinking the product could lead to dangerous behaviour on the part of the consumer. The company then moved on to focus on the design of the bottle and explained that the skull was a characterisation of ‘death’ which was designed to depict the consumption of the finger-like gills inside a crab, also known as ‘dead man’s fingers’, which according to folklore meant that if they were eaten, then the consumer would die. The company stated that the design was playful, which was in-keeping with the brand name and that it was its opinion that it was in no way threatening, violent, aggressive or dangerous and that the references to folklore could not be deemed to be anti-social or encourage illicit or illegal behaviour. The complaint related to the colour contrast in the letters of the name Dead Man’s Fingers Tequila Reposado to show the word DANGER. Regarding the Spiced Rum, the complainant pointed to the depiction of a skull on fire which they felt linked the product with danger.