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Crack Ice FAB under fire for hard drug imagery

Published:  23 July, 2008

Crack Ice, the new FAB from Soho Drinks Ltd, has been criticised by both the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) and the Portman Group. Based on the previously banned Irish spirit, poteen, the drink caused a number of complaints to the two bodies for both its packaging and controversial advertising campaign. The Portman Group's Independent Panel decided that the word crack', together with the words buzz' and illicit' on the front and rear labels, suggested an association with the illegal drug, crack cocaine. Jean Coussins, director of the Portman Group, said: The producers of Crack Ice have halted production of the drink and are currently seeking advice from [our] advisory service.' Adverts for the drink, which appeared mostly in magazines, showed a fox sitting in an alley with the words: Now being sold legally in pubs and clubs. Warning: this product contains a serious alcohol.' The ASA upheld readers' complaints that the warning' suggested people who tried the drink were brave, and also agreed that both crack' and ice' were street' terms for crack cocaine. Arthur Crack Ltd, the parent company of the producer, said crack' was in fact an anglicised version of the Irish term craic' and had nothing to do with cocaine.