Tim Palmer Halewood International is taking the premium packaged drinks category into uncharted waters with the introduction of a high strength (8.4% abv) cider called Hard Core. Brands manager Fran Draper said: "Our research has spotted a gap in the market for a premium drink that provides an alternative taste to the sweet fruity PPSs." She maintained the brand name stemmed from the fact the drink was a cider. However, the promotional activity will play on the sexual connotations of the name, including sampling activity by scantily clad girls and controversial promotional products, such as condoms. The 275ml bottles also carry the warning Adult Use Only' Draper said: "With the name Hard Core we have to support the brand with activity that lives up to its name. "We are doing things a bit differently and I am positive the support will raise a few eyebrows." Draper dismissed any suggestion that the new brand could run into problems with the Portman Group's code of practice, to which Halewood is a signatory. Section three of the code states: The brand name, product descriptor, packaging, labelling and point of sale material of any alcoholic drink should not in any direct or indirect way suggest sexual success or prowess'. Draper said: "We don't think there will be any problems. The name refers to its strength and its apple base." Hard Core is about to go on test in a number of Asda stores as part of its launch and Halewood is committing £500,000 to getting the brand off the ground this year. The package will include guerrilla marketing, online activity, instore displays and advertising. Press advertising is scheduled for September, October and November, followed early next year by a poster campaign. (Rsp: 99p, 275ml bottles). {{DRINKS }}