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Norwich bar fined for passing off Jägermeister

Published:  08 August, 2013

A bar in Norwich has been found guilty of passing off Jägermeister and selling an alternative product in a ruling that has cost it £16,000 for deceiving the public.

The landmark ruling for Norfolk Tranding Standards also found the bar was guilty of misusing Jägermeister trademarks on its promotional material.

The bar owners tried to blame their bar staff but were found guilty of two charges, of selling food not of the nature demanded by the purchaser, under the Food Safety Act, and engaging in commercial practice which was a misleading action containing false information, under trading regulations.

Basic consumer rights stipulate that customers should not be misled when purchasing products that they ask for - if ordering a premium spirit or specific brand, they expect to be served with the premium product rather than an imitation or cheaper version.

Cellar Trends, the distributor of Jägermeister in the UK has been working with Trading Standards throughout the country to educate outlets about their responsibilities and to ensure they are aware of the legalities and requirements when it comes to consumer rights. The recent prosecution was the result of action first taken in late December 2011 and the successful outcome was in part due to Cellar Trends and Mast-Jägermeister SE ability to trace lot numbers of bottles and prove that the batch concerned was of standard strength.

In the UK, Mast-Jägermeister SE has trademarked and owns the intellectual property of the words 'Jägermeister?', 'Jägerbomb?' and 'J-Bomb?' - so any product sold under these names must be genuine Jägermeister product and includes everything from menus, promotional flyers, POS or notices advertising these products.

Martin Watts, Cellar Trends managing director said: "Passing off and pouring over one product for another is a growing concern that not only impacts manufacturers, but also damages consumer confidence in the trade. We are actively working with all of the Trading Standards Offices throughout the country to help bring this issue to the attention of key stakeholders and highlight the dos and don'ts when it comes to keeping within the law."