Alcoholic drink Spiked speaks out after receiving negative feedback on social media due to ’inappropriate name’

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Aug 30, 2021

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Earlier this year, a new alcoholic beverage called Spiked, received a lot of negative feedback on social media due to its “inappropriate name”.

The brand, which originates in Nairobi, Kenya, was called out for choosing to use a term that promotes rape culture.

Many Twitter users pointed out the offensive nature of the name and how such a term has contributed to the ongoing violence targeted at women.

@Thandeka__teez wrote: “You decided to choose a name that has bad memories to other people also related with being drugged without knowing which may lead to rape and human trafficking.”

@SelineVW wrote: “Geez this is so tone-deaf given the unprecedented level of GBV we’re subjected to. You can’t just “redefine” a word like this to suit yourself in your “pinned tweet”. Just a stupid concept through and through. Just stop. And fire your branding team.”

Another user, @Ashante_Parker wrote: “Your brand needs to be banned before it can hit the shelves bcz you're a disgraced company on top of a high number of criminal activities in this country. Go back to the boardroom and come up with a better concept. Maybe it can have a good influence on this injured nation.”

In a series of tweets, the brand’s team wrote that they advocate for sexual consent and that the meaning behind their concept is “one being different and totally okay with it”, but tweeps were not having it.

@AugustineTinno wrote: “No ways. You did not just make up that definition imagine redefining the word ”rape“ with something nice haa.a.”

@MrsNamjoon94 also commented that they cannot just give a word a whole new meaning and expect people to be okay with it.

Feeling ‘tired’ of the negative feedback, the brand took to Twitter this week to further address the concept behind their brand.

“We would like to address the South Africans this morning because we are honestly tired. First of all, we are a Kenyan small business, we are not in SA.

“The past two days, we have been insulted and thrown at racial comments, being bullied into changing our name, and this ain't it.

“The point was for us to start a healthy conversation, but most of you chose bullying as your way of addressing things and that is why we opted to block you in order to maintain peace on our side. It is hard to even listen to the few who have anything good to say at this point,” they wrote.

The brand said to some ’spiked’ means knowingly drugging people’s drinks and taking advantage of them.

They said they understand the word may be a trigger to use for some and they would love to let people know that they hear and understand them and they will carry the burden along with them, and in that regard, they hope to change the conversation revolving around the word and not to ignore the hurt that came with it but to highlight it and help bring positive change.

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