An alcoholic version of the soft drink Solo launched in Australia to criticism from crossbenchers and health advocates. Hard Solo is a product of Japanese brewer Asahi and contains 4.5 per cent of alcohol in each 375ml can. Fears the drink could appeal to children led to the Cancer Council of Western Australia lodging a complaint to the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code Scheme. They said Asahi had breached the code preventing alcoholic drinks from containing a "strong and evident appeal" to minors. "The Hard Solo product is an extension of the soft drink brand, using the same colours, icon and font on the packaging and the same can shape as the Solo soft drink," they said. Hard Solo is packaged in a black can instead of the signature yellow. North Sydney MP Kylea Tink said the new drink doesn't pass the pub test. "We know young Australians have a particular taste for premixed drinks," she said. "Myself and my colleagues from the crossbench are meeting with the industry to really have that conversation of, 'Where is the line? And if this product isn't passing the pub test, what happens when a product crosses that line?" The teals have been pushing for stricter regulation around the marketing of alcohol since early this year. Groups like the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) are in support of the mission, and they point to the way data is collected about children for marketing purposes. According to FARE, an estimated 72 million data points will have been collected by companies on each child by the age of 13. This can be sold to marketers who can effectively target and attract each child. Australian Asahi subsidiary CUB said they strongly refute any claims that Hard Solo and regular Solo can be confused. They said the alcoholic drink has a "mature look and feel". They also said 85 per cent of regular solo consumers are adults and Hard Solo is expected to be purchased predominantly by 25-50 year olds. "While it is reminiscent of the classic Solo taste, Hard Solo has a bitter finish provided by the alcohol," a CUB spokesperson said. On TikTok, videos of young people reviewing Hard Solo have been viewed thousands of times, with users noting the close similarity in taste to regular Solo. "You could change the packaging of this to a regular Solo and you literally would not notice," one user said in a video review. CUB said Hard Solo will not be advertised on social media platforms people associate young people with, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube. Alcohol producers are also banned from running ads on TikTok so Hard Solo will not be advertised there. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, youth drinking is declining. The average age at which young people aged 14-24 first tried alcohol has steadily risen from 14 in 2001 to 16 in 2019. There has also been a long-term increase in the proportion of young people who abstain from alcohol. IN OTHER NEWS: However, a 2019 survey found that alcohol consumption at very high levels was more common among younger people than the general population. People aged 18-24 were more likely to consume 11 or more standard drinks at least monthly than people in other age groups. An ABAC spokesperson said they were unable to comment on a complaint while it is pending decision by the independent ABAC Adjudication Panel.