FRANCE: Oz Sparkling Water Threatened by Champagne Growers And California's Gallo
Beverage Marketing USA, Inc., were challenged in a letter on behalf of the French Champagne Growers Association, saying that the Australian-based company should print no more labels that included the word "champagne" pending a final resolution of a complaint from the fiercely protective champagne producers industry.
Richard H. Davis, President of Beverage Marketing USA, Inc., the firm that distributes the drink, said he is confident the French would lose their case which claims he is damaging the region's famous reputation, if and when it comes to court. Monsieur Davis points out that the "l'art de vivre" tagline "Walkabout sparkles in the mouth, like fine champagne!" appeared on a limited edition sidewalk cafe style Walkabout Springs product sold in Outback Steakhouse's a decade ago during which time demand was overwhelming.
"Now Gallo Winery lawyers (Weinberg Legal Group) are threatening legal action, who are using the WALKABOUT name on some fortified wines, to make a quick buck during the up coming Olympics 'Down Under."' says Monsieur Davis. "Gallo wining about an Aboriginal name of a spring in Australia, sounds a bit like when Arizona Beverages who used the Native America name Crazy Horse for its malt liquor, the company discontinued the fortified beer from protest from Indian tribal leaders due to the high degree of alcoholism among Native Americans, victimization of Aboriginal people who suffer from the same rates of alcoholism, may question the use of their image and name on a Californian wine from the worlds largest winery E & J Gallo, promoted during the Olympics."
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