The Gin Guild forces 29% abv "gin" brands to withdraw

28 September, 2020

Red Storm and Ocean Storm have been withdrawn from the market after The Gin Guild threatened legal action against the producer for incorrectly labelling them as “gin”.

The spirits were only 29% abv and therefore did not qualify as gin under international law. The Gin Guild alerted Trading Standards officers to the products and said it was fully prepared to issue legal enforcement proceedings against the firm.

Both products have now been taken off the market. “The production, marketing and sale of this 29% spirit was an ill-advised, blatant and cynical attempt to market products to leach on the good name and reputation of the gin category, despite clearly being non-compliant products,” said Nicholas Cook, director general of The Gin Guild.

““Apart from the abv being materially lower than the minimum laid down by regulation, the company was in breach of a number of other regulations, including the Spirits Drinks Regulations 2008, The EU Spirit Drinks Regulation EU 110/2008, as amended and replaced by (EU) 2019/787, The Food Information Regulations 2014 and The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.” 

The Gin Guild has secured from the brand owner and its directors a written undertaking which confirms that the continued sale of the products has ceased, existing stock has been collected and destroyed and any future products will have clear labelling that shows it is not gin.

The brand owner is now is in the process of deleting all references to the products from its social media accounts. 

“The Gin Guild is pleased to have obtained a swift and satisfactory resolution of the case,” added Cook. “This case, and other marketing breaches being addressed, justifies the enhanced and expanded role taken on by the Guild. 

“The Gin Guild, working with our primary authority and with our retained solicitors, will continue to monitor and, where appropriate, act to prevent non-compliant products from sale. This is to protect consumers and the industry.” 

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