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Halewood hit by Lambrusco writ

Published:  23 July, 2008

By Christian Davis

a consortium of Lambrusco wine growers has had a writ issued against Halewood, producer of Lambrini Bianco. The consortium comprises: Cantine Co-Operative Riunite SCRL; Giacobazzi Grandi Vini SpA; Medici Ermete & Figli SRL; Gruppo Coltiva SCARL; C Chiarli & Figli 1860 SRLPrIVI and Donelli Vini SpA. The writ to restrain Halewood International and Halewood Vintners claims that the brand, which is a carbonated perry drink aimed at 18- to 30-year-old mainly women drinkers, is packaged and marketed to deceive consumers into thinking it is Lambrusco Bianco or otherwise associated with the naturally sparkling Italian wine. Richard Kempner, partner in Addleshaw Booth which is acting for the consortium, said: "In our view, this is a classic example of one manufacturer trying to ride on the back of another's goodwill and success. "We say Halewood is misleading the public by passing off its Lambrini Bianco as one of the consortium's wines," he said. Halewood's managing director, Harry Melling, said: "When we launched Lambrini six years ago, sales of Lambrusco were already in a state of serious decline. This is still the case. There is no reason why we would want to be associated with a product which is consistently losing its market share." Bob Rishworth, sales & marketing director of Halewood, told Harpers that they feel the writ is "completely unjustified" and intend to "fight it rigorously". The High Court decision is expected early in 2001. If Halewood International loses, Kempner said that the cost of reimbursing the consortium for their financial loss could run into millions of pounds.