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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 22624
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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Is it legal to advertise a raspberry flavoured spirit drink

Customer Question

Is it legal to advertise a raspberry flavoured spirit drink at 20% ABV as
Raspberry Vodka on social media, advertising leaflets, retail shelf information etc ?
The product itself has a bottle label saying Raspberry Vodka with an "& "symbol inside the O of the word Vodka. Does this comply with European and UK labelling legislation
Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. My name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure tohelp you with this today.

Have you had a complaint from anyone or have tradingstandards been on the case?

Why is the & symbol inside the zero of the word Vodka.

Are you saying that this is really Raspberry & Vodka

but it’s labelled in effect as (I can’t duplicate it onword) Raspberry V&dka?

I have to ask you a very blunt question and you need to giveme a very honest answer and it’s a question that the judge would ask you ifever this ended up in court and that is why, if this is raspberry and vodka asopposed to “Raspberry Vodka”, why have you put the & in the middle of the Orather than between the two words raspberry and vodka?

The other burning question is, is this vodka made fromraspberries? If not, that probably answers your question.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Stuart
I thought that under EU law Flavoured Vodka had to be a minimum of 35%abv. If not you had to label it as a spirit drink not vodka?
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.

I agree with you.

However, who is labelling it seems to be relying on the fact that it is Raspberry and Vodka by hiding the & inside the zero, and if that was accepted, it is indeed Raspberry & Vodka assuming of course that it’s got real raspberry, and not just raspberry flavour. It does become extremely complicated.

I think you’ve trading standards got hold of this, they would make the labelling be changed.

However there are lots of anomalies here which particularly large companies seem to get away with:

For example, let’s take a drink such as Smirnoff ice which is widely available. Clearly, the label is misleading because it doesn’t contain any ice! It only has 5% alcohol. London Gin isn’t made in London but it’s made in the “London style”. The was a campaign recently to have all pasties not made in Cornwall called something other than Cornish pasties. It failed. However it has listed the minimum meet pastry and vegetable content.