Hedgehog keeps his bottle

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The Independent Online
It's official. The Hofmeister hedgehog is no relation to Sonic the Hedgehog. Nor will the new lager-loving hedgehog be likely to persuade teenagers to take to the bottle, writes Martin Wroe.

A specialist team of hedgehog advisers at the Independent Television Commission have ruled that a hedgehog, presently nameless, which is to spearhead a new television campaign for Hofmeister lager from next week, is not likely to encourage viewers under-18 to take up drinking.

It thus avoids the fate of its all- singing, all-swigging predecessor George the Bear. Three years ago George was banned from the screens after the ITC decided that he might have particular appeal to teenagers.

'The hedgehog does not raise any of the problems associated with the swaggering, jack-the-lad type of character that was George,' Stuart Patterson at the ITC said. 'If the hedgehog appeals to any under 18s at all it will be to the under-sixes.'