CUB renames Hard Solo following ABAC’s verdict on responsible alcohol marketing

Carlton & United Breweries Hard Solo

“We are disappointed by the outcome”

Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) has announced it will be renaming its ready-to-drink alcohol lemon beverage, Hard Solo, to Hard Rated. This move follows the recent ruling by the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code Scheme (ABAC) in response to complaints regarding Hard Solo.

ABAC, despite initially deeming the name as an appropriate product in line with the Code’s requirements during pre-vetting, concluded in its final determination that the name Hard Solo violates the Code standard s3(b)(i) “on strong or evident appeal to minors”.

Expressing their views on the verdict, CUB, announced, “While we are disappointed by the outcome, we accept ABAC’s decision.” The company emphasised their respect for ABAC’s crucial role in ensuring responsible alcohol marketing and, in particular, its admiration for chief adjudicator, former Australian Attorney-General, Professor the Hon. Michael Lavarch AO.

While the name and packaging are set to change, the Hard Rated liquid will remain identical to Hard Solo.

A CUB spokesperson commented, “As we comply with the ABAC decision and the Hard Solo brand exits the market, we’d like to assure the many Australian adults who have loved Hard Solo that the taste won’t change when the name changes to Hard Rated.

“Consistent with ABAC rules, CUB will ensure the last Hard Solo can packaging will exit our supply network by no later than 9 February 2024… Additionally, Hard Solo tap decals in pubs and clubs will also have transitioned to Hard Rated by that date.”

The company has stated that preparations for this transition have already commenced to minimise potential disruption to retail and on-premise customers of the Alcoholic Lemon drink.

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