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  1. ITV Report

Marks & Spencer changes name of Porn Star Martini after complaint

The supermarket launched its version of the popular cocktail in 2018.

Marks & Spencer will change the name of its Porn Star Martini tinned drink after a complaint about the cocktail's name was upheld.

The supermarket launched its version of the popular cocktail in 2018, but a complaint was made about how the beverage's name could "open the floodgates" for other suggestively-titled drinks.

After the ruling, M&S will rebrand the drink to Passion Star Martini after the original title linked the alcoholic product to sexual success.

The Portman Group, an alcohol industry body which deals with complaints, noted other retailers who sold versions of the cocktail used a different name to market their products, and ruled M&S did not need to use the Porn Star Martini title.

An M&S spokeswoman 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.”

A Portman Group spokeswoman said: “This decision by the Independent Complaints Panel reminds producers that they should always steer away from using imagery or names that are associated with sexual activity in marketing and labelling.

“Producers should think carefully about what is conveyed by the overall impression of the product and speak to our advisory service if in any doubt.

"We are pleased that the Marks and Spencer Group have been working with us to amend the name of the product.”

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The cocktail's launch last year was met with outrage by some, who accused M&S of "normalising porn".

Feminist campaign group Object said the supermarket was sending "mixed messages", while parents on Mumsnet said they did not want to explain what a porn star was to their children when out shopping.

In November 2018, it was reported by trade specialist CGA Strategy that the Porn Star Martini was the most ordered cocktail in UK restaurants, bars and pubs.

In their ruling, the Portman Group's panel also stated Marks & Spencer's vodka-based passion fruit drink did not contain any sparkling wine, typically a key ingredient in the cocktail.

The group noted other businesses, for example BBC Good Food, had replaced the term “porn star” with “passion fruit” in a “conscious effort to remove the phrase from the title of the cocktail”.