FRANCE: Pernod counters latest Russian Standard outburst

By | 12 June 2007

Pernod Ricard has responded to the latest attack by Russian Standard on its Stolichnaya vodka brand.

The Russian firm, owned by billionaire Roustam Tariko, yesterday (11 June) unveiled an advertising campaign in the US which aims to "distinguish the vodka from other brands sold in the US market that only claim Russian authenticity", the company said. "This campaign also calls into question the integrity of a recently-launched marketing campaign by Stolichnaya entitled 'Choose Authenticity', in which Stolichnaya claims to be authentically Russian."

"This campaign draws a line between brands that are truly Russian and those that are not," said Tariko. "American consumers want the real thing, and that's exactly what we are."

When contacted by just-drinks, however, Pernod countered the attack. "Stolichnaya is distilled in Russia and is genuine Russian vodka," a spokesperson for the French company said.

In April last year, Tariko unleashed his first attack on Stolichnaya, following this with a lawsuit - alleging "false advertising" - in the US in October.

The Pernod spokesperson highlighted a statement issued in April last year, in which Pernod claimed Stolichnaya is "truly Russian, being distilled and produced 500kms south-east of Moscow, using Russian grain and water". Once distilled, the vodka is then shipped in bulk and bottled in Latvia.

"We wish Mr Tariko well in his commercial endeavours," the spokesperson concluded. "A bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone."

Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Pernod, Stolichnaya, Ricard

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