The Gin Guild and partners took swift action this month to secure withdrawal of The Pentone Family Ltd’s so called Red Storm Gin and Ocean Storm Gin from the market.
Working with its Primary Authority partner Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards, and with their retained Solicitors Birketts LLP instructed and on standby to issue civil legal enforcement proceedings, The Gin Guild demonstrated its ability and commitment to prevent non-compliant products from using the gin category name.
Nicholas Cook, the Director General of the Gin Guild, said:
The production, marketing and sale of this 29% spirit was an ill-advised, blatant and cynical attempt to market products to leach on the good name and reputation of the gin category, despite clearly being non-compliant products.
“Apart from the ABV being materially lower than the minimum laid down by regulation, the company was in breach of a number of other regulations, including the Spirits Drinks Regulations 2008, The EU Spirit Drinks Regulation EU 110/2008, as amended and replaced by (EU) 2019/787, The Food Information Regulations 2014 and The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.”
The Gin Guild has secured from the brand owning company and its directors a written undertaking which confirms that:
- The continued sale and trade of the products, described in error as ‘gin’ has ceased.
- Existing stock branded as ‘gin’ has been collected and destroyed and the company has substituted any bottles that were on sale with new stock that has clear markings showing the product is not gin.
- The brand owner has removed any reference to the products from their website and has instructed its third-party distributors who may be selling the product through the web to remove the product and exchange with them for the new rebranded bottles.
- The brand owner is in the process of deleting all references to the above products from their social media accounts.
- The brand owning company and the directors have undertaken that at no future date will they seek to sell, promote or distribute in any way the above products as so described, nor any other products described as ‘gin’ which do not fully meet the required category criteria, nor, in connection with any other products described as ‘gin’ which do not fully meet the required category criteria, shall make use of, or reference ‘gin’ as a regulated category name, whether as any part of the product name or description, packaging, labelling, description or otherwise, such as to allude or suggest that a beverage is a beverage within that category.
Nicholas Cook said: “The Gin Guild is pleased to have obtained a swift and satisfactory resolution of the case. This case, and other marketing breaches being addressed, justifies the enhanced and expanded role taken on by the Guild.
“The Gin Guild, working with our Primary Authority and with our retained solicitors, will continue to monitor and, where appropriate, act to prevent non-compliant products from sale. This is to protect consumers and the industry.”
The Gin Guild invites those who are aware of non-compliant products purporting to be ‘gin’ when they are not, to report them with details, ideally including an image of the bottle (front and back) and the location of sale, via [email protected].
Photo: #ThisIsNotGin – the Red Storm & Ocean Storm products labelled as gin