Asda has dismissed as "nonsense" the Portman Group's ruling that one of its products breaches the voluntary code for the naming, packaging and promotion of alcoholic drinks.

The product, supplied by The Gift Company and called Chocolate & Cream, contained a mug, hot chocolate, a cuddly toy and a miniature bottle of Baileys.

Asda sold 30,000 of the products over Christmas but following one complaint from a member of the public, The Portman Group's Independent Complaints Panel found the product to be in breach of its voluntary code. Asda has since removed the item from its shelves.

"These companies have overstepped the mark with this irresponsible marketing," said David Poley, chief executive of The Portman Group.

"We have repeatedly warned the industry about the risks of selling alcohol with cuddly toys."

An Asda spokeswoman said: "This product was clearly labelled for customers over 18 years old. Unlike the one customer who wrote in, the other 29,999 customers who bought the gift over Christmas understood this was an indulgent bedtime hot chocolate tipple. Frankly, to imply otherwise is nonsense."

Last year Asda's Bubbly & Bear giftpack, produced by Blue Sky Beverages, was one of only two products found to be in breach of the code.

"If Asda disregards the rules on the responsible marketing of alcohol, it runs the risk of attracting more complaints and damage to its reputation,"added Poley.

Diageo, owner of Baileys, said it was disappointed one of its products had been used in this way.

"We have limited control over the sale of our miniatures once they have been sold to an unlicensed third party," said a spokeswoman.

"But we are working to promote responsible retailing and we have a licensed ­manufacturer, which produces approved gift packs in ­compliance with our own ­marketing code."