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Published:  23 July, 2008

Complaints against Tesco and Budgen have been upheld by the Portman Group, the drinks industry watchdog. Tesco was censured for selling gift-packs of spirits miniatures with sweets, while Budgen was found to have displayed an alcoholic drink among confectionery. Two complaints regarding the gift-pack were filed against Tesco and one against a Budgen store in London, where the drink was displayed in front of the till. The Independent Complaints Panel also found against Bulmers for its Sidekick, the fruit-flavoured schnapps, claiming that it was in breach of the drinks industry's code of practice because it failed to communicate the alcoholic nature of the drink. Sidekick was cleared of having a predominately underage appeal'. Complaints against two Carlsberg-Tetley beers featuring match shots of England football and rugby union players on the outer wrapping were not upheld; nor was a complaint against Dooley's Original Toffee Liqueur. Portman director Jean Coussins said: The panel's decision should be a further warning to retailers that they should be particularly cautious over their commissioning of seasonal merchandise. A product that might be considered a bit of fun as a stocking-filler for adults could also appeal to children. The industry needs to keep focused on the importance of clear labelling,' said Coussins. There is nothing wrong with innovation, as long as some basic social responsibility principles are observed.'