M&S changes name of Porn Star Martini following watchdog complaint

Portman Group said name breached rules that ban alcohol from being associated with sex.

M&S: retailer told canned cocktail breached responsible ad rules
M&S: retailer told canned cocktail breached responsible ad rules

Marks & Spencer has changed the name of its Porn Star Martini in a can to Passion Star Martini, after the Portman Group said the name breached rules by associating alcohol with sex.

The alcohol industry-funded watchdog investigated a complaint made by a member of the public about the name. The complainant said: "Porn stars are idolised as people who have sexual success and paid for doing so.

"Therefore, hearing this name on a can of an alcoholic cocktail is linking alcohol with sexual success. If you continue to allow this, it will open the flood gates to others, eg Sex on the Beach, Slippery Nipple, Sloe Comfortable Screw, Liquid Viagra etc."

The Portman Group found that the name breached the rules against Code Rule 3.2(d), which states that no drink should, in any direct or indirect way, suggest any association with sexual activity.

M&S said in its response to the group that Porn Star Martini was a well-known name for a cocktail sold and recognised worldwide. The company argued that when a customer sees the name "Porn Star Martini", they associate it with the passion fruit juice-based vodka cocktail and not with sexual activity or sexual success.

The Portman Group, however, said M&S did not need to refer to the cocktail by that name and referenced that other retailers and online cocktail recipes often referred to it as a Passion Fruit Martini.

Following the ruling, M&S has agreed to change the name to Passion Star Martini.

It said: "Porn Star Martini is a common name for a passion fruit cocktail drink. Our product launched in September 2018 and quickly became one of our most popular cocktails. However, as a Portman Group co-signatory, we respect the ruling and will be changing the name to Passion Star Martini."