A Victorian brewer was banned from advertising one of its beers after a child mistakenly drank it, thinking it was chocolate milk.

The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation banned the advertising and promotion of Choc Milk Stout in its current form after the child mistook it for Nestle’s Milo.

Photos of the product posted online show the packaging of the beer looks similar to Nestle’s Milo colour and packaging and we wouldn’t be surprised if Nestle set their lawyers on to the brewer because of the similarities in packaging.

The milk stout controversy is the latest packaging blunder that could mislead children. It follows an American gun maker which sold a pistol cover that made a real Glock pistol look like a Lego toy.

There seems to be a trend evolving of marketing products that evoke better known products and while the objective might be to make customers more readily accept them, manufacturers need to factor in how children could easily be misled.

Children do not read small print. Manufacturers need to realise kids may not see a difference in products. If the packaging get-up looks like Milo down to the same colour and logo style, kids are going to assume it’s Milo and safe to drink.

Within Australia, a trader cannot trade mark the names of poisons as drinks – children get confused. The issue is greater than trade mark infringement or copyright infringement. It is one of safety.

The gun company had to pull their product off the market because Lego lawyered up and demanded they do so.

The Lego gun cover and the choc milk stout controversary illustrate the obvious safety concerns as to why a business cannot simply copy another’s product and expect to get away with it.

What may be a sales gimmick in situations like this raises safety and misleading and deceptive conduct issues.

The drink product is produced by a small, independent brewer Howler Brewing Company, based in South Gippsland. The packaging of the beer showed a similarity to Nestle’s Milo packaging.

It was determined the product breached Victorian government codes that state marketing communication for alcoholic products must not have a strong or evident appeal to minors.

In America  Utah- based gun business Culper Precision created a cover for a Glock pistol (used by police and John Wick) but made the cover look like it was made of Lego. They called their creation the Block 17.

It has since been removed from sale after lawyers growled at them and the fears of children mistaking the guns for toys were widely publicised.

If you need assistance in registering trade marks or protecting your rights, contact EAGLEGATE.

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