M&S accused of "normalising porn" by selling pre-mixed Porn Star Martinis

Marks & Spencer is being accused of “normalising porn” because it is selling a Porn Star Martini drink in a can.

The cocktail, which blends passion fruit flavours with vodka, is packaged as a pre-mixed cocktail in a 25cl can and it was launched into M&S stores last September. 

Parents posting on Mumsnet have criticised the supermarket for having the words ‘porn star’ in the grocery aisles, while in a tweet the feminist campaign group Object! stated: “Marks & Spencer is normalising porn. And if you try to complain online, the system rejects the word ‘porn’. Mixed messages huh?”

The Porn Star Martini is reported to have been one of the most popular cocktails in the on-trade in 2017. The cocktail was originally created by a bartender in London in 2002. 

Meanwhile, Global Brands, which has its own pre-mixed canned drink created using a similar recipe, said the company had deliberately chosen to avoid the cocktail name ‘Porn Star Martini’ for the off-trade, because the name can be offensive, it said. 

Earlier this year the company launched its version of the porn star martini under its All Shook Up brand name, but it named it Passion Fruit Martini.

Company founder, Steve Perez, said: “There’s huge demand in supermarkets for premium ready-to-drink cocktails, but this demand won’t be met if the drinks aren’t adapted for stores. It’s ok to use risky cocktail names in adult places like bars, but as we’ve seen in this case, these names just aren’t appropriate in supermarkets that are full of families. The Porn Star name can be offensive and it shouldn’t be normalised as part of an everyday experience like grocery shopping.  

“Parents don’t want to be embarrassed by questions about what’s a porn star? Try explaining that while filling your trolley. It’s awkward and not necessary. We spent months considering this when developing All Shook Up and deliberately avoided the well-known cocktail name. Our alternative name, Passion Fruit Martini, is more descriptive and avoids cheapening the drink or making it embarrassing. It makes it more aisle and trolley-friendly for parents that can’t always get out to bars, but want a great tasting and convenient cocktail serve at home. It’s working – it’s been one of the industry’s most successful drinks launches in supermarkets this year.”