US: Russian Standard files Stoli lawsuit
The Russian vodka producer filed the lawsuit in New York yesterday (23 October), accusing Pernod and Allied Domecq, the previous holder of the US rights to Stolichnaya, of "false advertising".
The lawsuit comes six months after Russian Standard's billionaire owner, Roustam Tariko, launched his first attack on the heritage of Stolichnaya. Tariko then claimed Stoli was "not authentically Russian" and insisted that marketing campaigns promoting the brand's Russian origins were "inaccurate and misleading to vodka consumers".
Yesterday, Tariko said he wanted the US courts to "evaluate the facts" behind the "authenticity claims" made regarding the heritage of Stolichnaya.
"Product origin and authenticity are extremely important, and consumers have a right to know what kind of product they are consuming," he said. "We are proud that Russian Standard vodka was born in Russia, made in Russia, and is the number one premium vodka brand in Russia."
Tariko added: "Our complaint asks the US court to evaluate the facts behind authenticity claims made regarding Stolichnaya vodka, and to resolve the parties' dispute based on those facts."
Officials at Pernod could not be reached for comment on the lawsuit as just-drinks went to press. When Tariko's claims first surfaced in April, Pernod labeled them as "grossly misleading".
The French drinks giant then said: "Pernod Ricard reiterates that Stolichnaya is truly Russian, being distilled and produced in Russia using Russian grain and water. It is then shipped in bulk and bottled in Latvia."
Russian Standard has launched an assault on the US market in an attempt to tap into strong demand for premium vodkas in the country. Stolichnaya has been among the leading premium vodkas on sale in the US, its popularity based on marketing campaigns flagging its Russian heritage.
Russian Standard unveiled its flagship brand Imperia in the US last year. In June, the company struck a deal with Rémy Cointreau that will see the French group's US arm distribute Russian Standard's vodka portfolio across the Atlantic.
Bacardi has been engaged in a legal battle with Pernod Ricard over the rights to the Havana Club trademark for years. But Patience Gould believes the US-based spirits giant is shooting itself in the f...
Alizé has introduced a new rose blend to its line-up of flavoured liqueurs....
Skyy Vodka has unveiled a tie-up with The Independent Film Channel (IFC) in the US....
Castle Brands has launched a website for its flagship Boru Vodka brand....
Central European Distribution Corporation is looking to buy an unnamed drinks distributor in Poland....
A leading Bacardi executive has called on the Scotch whisky industry to radically rethink its rules on the definitions of Scotch whisky, questioning whether the strict guidelines were hindering Scotch...
Rémy Cointreau has posted a slight lift in full-year turnover....
Beam Global Spirits & Wine has announced a revamp of its Gilbey's vodka and Ronrico rum brands in the US....
- Focus - Pernod's YTD Performance by Region
- just On Call - Pernod shifts Scotch focus in China
- Focus - Heineken's Q1 Performance by Region
- Focus - Coca-Cola's Q1 Performance by Region
- Diet Coke "a work in progress" in US - Coca-Cola
- CFO of Diageo's United Spirits stands down
- Pernod Ricard sees YTD recover as sales increase
- BrewDog launches GBP25m crowd-funding attempt
- Africa "subdued" but Heineken sees Q1 rises
- Elements 8 revamps rum packaging
- Global Tequila insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Global rum insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Diageo plc (DGE) - Financial and Strategic SWOT Analysis Review
- Global Scotch whisky insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- ALDI 2015: Radically transforming Anglo Saxon grocery markets