Two issues were investigated, one of which was Upheld. The other was informally resolved after the advertiser agreed to withdraw their advertising.

Ad description

An Instagram post by Rebel Wine, a CBD infused wine, published 21 January 2023, stated, “Rebel Sherbet, a scrumptious cocktail […]”. The video showed the drink being made. Text overlayed on the video stated, “Take a glass of ice. A good shot of Lemon Cello [sic]. Pour it over the ice and then add in Skinny Rebel White Wine Spritzer.”


The ASA challenged whether the claim “Skinny Rebel” complied with the Code.


Rebel Wine Ltd said “Skinny Rebel” was a brand name and registered trademark for their range of wine spritzers. They said ‘skinny’ referred to those products containing half the alcohol content compared to their full-strength wines. They said halving the alcohol content would halve the calorie content and therefore the product would have half the energy. They did not think that should be seen as a ‘claim’. They also said their marketing made no references, implicit or otherwise, that the products could help consumers lose weight and that consumers had not queried them about whether the product could help them lose weight. They did not believe anyone would think that drinking an alcoholic product would help them lose weight. While selecting a lower alcohol version of a product may help a consumer reduce the amount of weight they gained, that was not a claim they made in their advertising. They said they promoted the product as being “Delicious with Snacks”; they would not be doing so if they were trying to claim that the product could help weight loss.

Rebel Wine noted a previous ASA ruling that had concluded ‘skinny’ in the context of a food brand which also included references to the nutrients that had been reduced, was a claim that meant the product could help to maintain or lose weight and was therefore a health claim. Rebel Wine said they did not use these claims and that ‘skinny’ was an example of comparative advertising and would be interpreted by consumers as either a reduced alcohol claim or reduced energy claim. They said the Rebel Wine website made no suggestion the products had a dietary impact or implied they had a weight loss benefit.



The CAP Code stated that marketing communications for alcohol must not make any health, fitness or weight-control claims. Health claims were defined as those that stated, suggested or implied a relationship between a food or ingredient, and health. Nutrition claims were defined as those that stated, suggested or implied that a food (or drink) had particular beneficial nutritional properties due to the amount of calories, nutrients or other substances it contained, did not contain, or contained in reduced or increased proportions. The only permitted nutrition claims that could be made in relation to alcohol were “low-alcohol”, “reduced alcohol” and “reduced energy”.

Rebel Wine believed ‘skinny’ would be understood either as a reduced alcohol claim or reduced energy claim. The ASA did not consider that consumers would interpret the term ‘skinny’ as being related to the alcoholic strength of the product.

The brand name was “Skinny Rebel”, which we considered consumers would understand to mean that the product could help to maintain or lose weight or could help to maintain weight when compared to alternative products, and that consuming products from the “Skinny Rebel” range would therefore have those effects. It was therefore a health claim. We acknowledged the brand name “Skinny Rebel” was a registered trademark. However, trademarked names still had to comply with the Code. Because the name was used for a range of wine spritzer cocktails, and it was not permitted to make health or weight-control claims for alcoholic products, the trademarked name breached the Code.

Notwithstanding that we considered consumers would interpret the claim “Skinny Rebel” as a weight loss or maintenance claim, we noted Rebel Wine’s belief that ‘skinny’ would be understood as a reduced energy comparative nutrition claim. ‘Reduced energy’ claims were permitted to be made in relation to alcohol. To use that claim in their advertising Rebel Wine would need to have provided information to show products from the “Skinny Rebel” range had at least 30% less energy than other similar products. However, they had not provided any information to show that. We therefore considered that even if the claim was interpreted as a reduced energy comparative nutrition claim, the claim would have breached the Code because Rebel Wine did not hold evidence to show that the products met the conditions of use for that claim.

We concluded the ad breached the Code, because “Skinny Rebel” was a non-permitted health claim for alcoholic drinks.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 15.1, 15.1.1 (Food, food supplements and associated health or nutrition claims) and 18.17 (Alcohol).


The ad must not appear again in the form complained of. We told Rebel Wine Ltd not to make non-permitted health claims about alcoholic drinks.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

18.17     15.1     15.1.1    

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