If alcopops were the alcoholic drink of the nineties, so-called 'Viagra Pops' are tipped to be the equivalent phenomenon of the naughties.
Lynch Wines, a small drinks company based in Surrey, England, recently announced a new alcoholic drink known as Roxxoff. It claimed that this new drink wasn't just alcoholic - it was also a potent aphrodisiac. Roxxoff is 5.4% alcohol, which is a bit on the high side for an alcopop. It is vodka-based, and also contains a number of traditional Chinese herbs which supposedly increase the libido, such as cordyceps and epimedium grandiflorum.
The company is happy to make a number of claims about Roxxoff, for example that it will create a "race of randy super beings". Their advertisments include Dannii Minogue in varying states of undress. Even the name is related to sex; the drink is supposed to help you 'get your rocks off'. Roxxoff looks sure to be a success, so much so that a number of other companies are looking to create drinks with an aphrodisiac image.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are a lot of people concerned about this new trend. It was Alcohol Focus Scotland, a Scottish campaigning group, that fist publicised that Roxxoff breached the Portman Group's strict guidelines on marketing alcoholic drinks. A spokesman for the group said
"Roxxoff, sends out a completely irresponsible message to the young drinkers it is aimed at and will only increase the likelihood of binge drinking and unsafe sex"
They coined the term 'Viagra Pop' to refer to this new type of drink which seemed to exist solely to encourage drunken sex between strangers. Lynch Wines - who have changed their name to Yours Alternatively
- seem quite happy with this characterisation. A spokesman said in a press release
"Many young people go to clubs and bars to meet people with a view to having sex. We are just helping them on their way."
In all likelihood they are happy to trade off the controversy-value of a term like Viagra Pop, something they could never directly call their products because
The Portland Group responded in June 2003 by taking the unique measure of asking shops not to stock Roxxoff, the first time a drink has been 'banned' before its release. Yours Alternatively accused the Portland Group of protecting its own commercial interests - the Group does represent the big breweries. Most other groups have welcomed the ban, though. The drink will still be sold in pubs and clubs, and doubtless will find a way onto the shelves of off licenses eventually.
Sex sells. Alcohol sells, especially in Britain. Sexy alcohol must be an instant hit. The term 'Viagra Pop' has escaped into the media, and it's sufficiently memorable and brandworthy that I suspect it will be around for some years now, together with a range of drinks it will refer to.
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/03/29/1048653900631.html -- also the source of the quotes above