It's not the first time the wine brand and grocer Iceland have courted controversy.
Booze with a naughty name isn't anything new. Earlier this year, the Brewers Association went as far as to pass a new policy hoping to curb the number of offensive beer names. Not everyone believes the name of an alcoholic beverage is that big of a deal—they are meant for adults after all. But giving an alcoholic beverage an unsavory name is one thing; putting that label in front of children is another. And that's precisely the problem one parent had with the placement of a wine called "Fat Bastard" at a British grocery store.
The UK frozen food chain Iceland (named with wordplay, not after the country) recently came under fire from a Twitter user with the handle @coohied, who pointed out that the grocery store was selling the not-necessarily-appropriately-named wine at "child eyelevel." In a tweet directed at the brand's Twitter account, @coohied wrote, "can you please let me know how you think selling this wine at child eyelevel is acceptable clydebank iceland," referring to the location near Glasgow where the wine was spotted and including a photo of the offending tipple.
Though sensitive types might see this as an obvious controversy, interestingly, in a response sent to the Greenlock Telegraph, Iceland decided to hold its ground on its choice of shelf-level and defended the vino. "Fat Bastard wine is a high-quality product which we have stocked for some time, and which is popular with our customers," the grocery chain told the paper. "Its name is humorous and certainly not intended to cause offence." Additionally, as The Drinks Business pointed out, if a parent is sensitive to the word "bastard," why is a minor being brought through the alcohol section to begin with?
But at this point, Fat Bastard wine and Iceland are probably used to complaints. Last year, both companies came under criticism when an Iceland circular that included an advertisement for Fat Bastard on the front page was sent to a primary school, leading the UK's Advertising Standard Authority to condemn the ad.
But in the wine brand's defense, Fat Bastard apparently understands the implications of its name. That same ad proclaimed, "Outrageous name, outrageously good wine."