In March, 2021 the Scotch Whisky Association (“SWA”), a Scotland based trade association of the Scotch whisky industry, and Whyte and Mackay Limited, a Scotland based distilling and bottling company, commenced an action in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against Macaloney Brewer & Distillers Ltd., the Victoria, BC based owner of Macaloney’s Caledonian Distillery. Macaloney’s distills, matures, bottles and sells whisky.
The SWA asserts that Macaloney’s whiskies are marketed and branded in a way that would deceive or confuse consumers into believing its product is bona fide Scotch whisky. It’s interesting to note that in their lawsuit the plaintiffs SWA and Whyte and Mackay don’t seek damages, or an order preventing Macaloney’s from distilling and bottling single malt whisky – instead they seek an injunction restraining what they call Macaloney’s “misleading branding and marketing” and an order that Macaloney’s destroy all such packaging and marketing materials.Continue reading
In February, 2015 Alcohol & Advocacy summarized the rules and restrictions then in place for advertising and marketing by bars, restaurants and liquor agents.
In December, 2019 the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch published a useful refresher on these principles, with references to law and regulation as well as licensee terms and conditions. Usefully, the six page publication also contains plenty of examples of what is unacceptable (apparently taken from “common non-compliant social media messaging”). The document can be read in full here.Continue reading
As readers of Alcohol & Advocacy know, in British Columbia private liquor stores (Licensee Retail Stores), Wine Stores and Manufacturers with Onsite Stores may deliver liquor to customers purchased online under certain terms and conditions. We’ve previously written about this topic here.
Earlier this summer Mr. Justice Boswell of the Federal Court of Canada released his decision in Diageo Canada Inc. v. Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc., which resolved a trademark and passing off dispute between two significant players in the liquor industry. At issue in Diageo v. Heaven Hill is the similarity in Diageo’s Captain Morgan mark, and Heaven Hill’s Admiral Nelson mark. Both marks are used by their respective owners to identify and market their lines of rum.
From time-to-time the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch releases compliance and enforcement statistics. The most recent statistics on licensee contraventions of BC’s liquor laws are for the period between January and October, 2016. Alcohol & Advocacy has previously written on this issue for the period between January, 2010 and December, 2013, and that article can be found here.
Every day British Columbians head to the internet to do their shopping, even for perishable goods like groceries and flowers, and they expect to have the products they purchase delivered to their door. Now, (finally) they can do the same for all their beer, wine and spirits needs.
Clever advertising and an engaging social media presence are significant aspects of many successful businesses, and the hospitality and brewing industry is no exception. The competition for patron dollars and loyalty is fierce in British Columbia, particularly in Vancouver. With British Columbians enjoying an ever widening variety of locally made craft beer, wine and spirits and exciting new venues to consume them in, connecting with the public through creative and targeted advertising is more important than ever. Unlike other industries though, the liquor production and service industry is heavily regulated and those regulations control how a licensed establishment or manufacturer is permitted to advertise.