Marks & Spencer renames Porn Star Martini after customer backlash

Danielle Fowler
Freelance Writer
The supermarket chain was accused of "normalising porn" [Photo: Getty]

Marks & Spencer is renaming its Porn Star Martini cocktail after nationwide customer backlash with shoppers claiming it was “more S&M than M&S”.

Despite being a popular summer beverage, the Independent Complaints Panel for Portman Group was forced to investigate complaints expressed by a member of the public that feared the name “links the alcoholic product to sexual success because ‘porn stars’ are idolised as people who have sexual success and are paid for doing so”.

On Tuesday, Portman Group announced that the high street giant will subsequently changed the name of its tin to the more appropriate ‘Passion Star Martini’.

“Even though there was nothing else on the packaging which created an association with sexual activity, the name ‘Porn Star Martini’ was enough of an association because of the established definition of a ‘porn star’ - an actor/actress famous for appearing in pornographic films which by their nature contained sexual activity,” the statement read.

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In response to the legal battle, an M&S spokesperson commented: “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.”

The £2 can was added to the British brand’s extensive pre-mixed tinny collection back in autumn 2018 - an attempt to please jolly commuters no doubt.

Yet despite the ease of bagging the summer drink on the go, a number of social media users criticised the supermarket chain for “normalising porn”.

One wrote, “Marks & Spencer normalising porn. And if you try to complain online, the system rejects the word ‘porn’. Mixed messages, huh?”

Another agreed, adding: “What next? Male Prostitute Prosecco. Drug Trafficker Tequila.”

But not everyone agrees with the name change, with a number of social media users believing its “PC gone mad”.

“Bit of an extreme ruling, surely we can assume people don't think drinking a Porn Star Martini makes them a porn star...” one Twitter user argued. “Like getting bitten by a radioactive spider and becoming Spiderman? Is that how it works?”

“I'm usually a stickler on these guidelines as most are for the ‘greater good’, even if I don't wholly agree, but this is just stupid!” a second customer added.

What do you make of the divisive name change?

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