Shops are being asked to stop placing orders for a mafia-themed scotch whisky, after a watchdog said it had direct association with violent and dangerous behaviour.
Bartex Bartol’s Cosa Nostra scotch whisky comes in a bottle shaped like a Thompson “Tommy” gun, which is a deadly submachine gun.
UK industry watchdog Portman Group found that the shape of the bottle creates a direct link between the drink and a dangerous weapon.
It also said that the drink’s name, Cosa Nostra, was the name of a well-known faction of the Italian Mafia – further linking the whisky to violent behaviour and criminal activity.
It comes after a complaint was filed and upheld by Portman Group’s Independent Complaints Panel by a member of the public.
The panel also noted that, in the context of rising gun crime in the UK, the packaging was likely to cause serious and widespread offence – especially in communities where gun crime is an ongoing serious issue.
It also said those who were directly affected by the actions of Cosa Nostra would consider the bottle seriously offensive.
Since Bartex Bartol refused to comply with sanctions issued by Portman Group, a Retailer Alert Bulletin (RAB) has been issued to ask retailers to stop placing orders for the whisky.
The producer was previously the subject of a RAB in 2014, with its product Red Army Vodka.
Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel, Nicola Williams, said: “In light of rising gun crime in the UK, it is deeply irresponsible of an alcohol producer to glamorise firearms and market a product in this form.
“There were multiple and clear signs this product was in direct breach of the Code and unfortunately follows a complaint for a similar product by the same producer which the Panel upheld in 2014.
“I hope Bartex Bartol takes note that such products are completely unacceptable.”