In its seemingly never-ending fight against counterfeit scotch whisky, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has announced a successful ruling in the Italian Supreme Court.
Imitation scotch whiskies were found on sale in major retailers in Italy in the late 1980s. The SWA says all were supplied by a Angelo Vendrame operating under several trading names.
Despite the use of Scottish sounding names such as ‘MacQueen’, ‘Clan 55’, ‘Jackson’s’, ‘Gold River’, ‘Royal Club’ and ‘Sullivan’ none of the products was genuine. Some were erroneously described as ‘Scotch Whisky’ on labels, while others claimed to be “produced” or “matured” in Scotland.
Each label referred to a ‘shell’ UK company, Alex Albright Ltd, which had been set up by Vendrame, to suggest a false provenance for his products.
A spokesman for The Scotch Whisky Association said: “This has been a long battle to protect Italian consumers and scotch whisky distillers from imitation products unfairly trading on scotch whisky’s reputation. Such practices left unchecked would undermine consumer confidence and the integrity of scotch whisky. Our top priority must be to protect scotch whisky from all forms of unfair competition and we are delighted at the successful outcome of this lengthy action in Italy.”