Hard Solo alcohol to be renamed after breaching marketing code

The ready-to-drink Hard Solo alcoholic beverage has been renamed after the ABAC Adjudication Panel determined that the packaging of the drink had breached ABAC’s responsible alcohol marketing code.

It comes after “multiple public complaints” that the brand name and design of the can “strongly appeals to minors”.

As a result, the producers of Hard Solo, Carlton & United Breweries (CUB), have agreed to cease further orders for production of this packaging.

On Thursday, Carlton & United Breweries announced that the beverage name has been changed to Hard Rated and that the name and packaging will be revamped.

“As we comply with the ABAC decision and the Hard Solo brand exits the market, we’d like to assure the many Australian adults who have loved Hard Solo that the taste won’t change when the name changes to Hard Rated,” a CUB spokesperson said in a statement.

“Consistent with ABAC rules, CUB will ensure the last Hard Solo can packaging will exit our supply network by no later than 9 February 2024 (s4.17. of the ABAC Code).

“Importantly, the preparation to transition from Hard Solo to Hard Rated has commenced to minimise potential disruption of our Alcoholic Lemon drink to retail and on-premise customers.”

ABAC Panel Chair, Professor Michael Lavarch, said of the decision today: “CUB were careful to devise a packaging design that identified Hard Solo as an alcoholic beverage and not a soft drink.

“However, the Panel believed a reasonable person would probably understand that as a household soft drink brand found in an estimated 1.7 million homes, stocked in supermarkets and convenience stores and marketed freely without the restrictions placed on alcohol products, Solo was an entirely familiar and relatable brand to minors.”

“Using the Solo name and other branding features on Hard Solo would elevate the appeal of Hard Solo and create an illusion for minors of a smooth transition from the non-alcoholic to alcoholic variant of Solo.”


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