Mast-Jaegermeister UK, the subsidiary responsible for Jägermeister distribution and marketing in the UK is tackling the issue of ‘passing off’ and ‘pouring over’ with an increased educational outreach to licensees and on-trade outlets – including closer working ties with the Trading Standards Institute.
Passing off is the act of serving products different to those advertised or asked for by the consumer without notifying them and pouring over is the act of serving consumers what they are led to believe is a genuine product, but is in fact an imitation product.
The majority of licensed premises in the UK – around 99% – understand and abide by the law, however it’s the less than 1% of outlets that engage in the practice of passing off and pouring over which is the area of concern.
The dedicated Jägermeister sales force is working closely with Trading Standards throughout the country to educate outlets and their staff about their responsibilities and to ensure they are aware of the legalities and requirements when it comes to consumer rights.
Mast-Jaegermeister is taking a proportionate and precise approach to tackle the issue which follows an established legitimate process.
Last month, Mast-Jaegermeister was forced to send out cease and desist letters to identified repeat offenders warning them about their illegal practice, whilst also engaging with the owners and managers in order to ensure that they take action to rectify the situation without the need to resort to legal action. However any outlets found offending repeatedly will be followed up with appropriate action.
Passing off also relates to how a product is marketed, as well as how it’s served. Across the EU (which includes the UK), Mast-Jägermeister has trademarked and owns nearly 60 trademarks. Among these trademarks Mast-Jägermeister owns the intellectual property of the words ‘Jägermeister®’, ‘Jäger®’ ‘Jäger Bomb®’ and ‘J-Bomb®’ to name just a few – so any product sold under these names must be genuine Jägermeister product at all times (and this includes everything from menus, promotional flyers, POS or notices advertising these products).
Guy Lawrence, CEO, Mast-Jaegermeister UK comments: “Passing off and pouring over are illegal, unfair and unwise. We’re not after the ill-informed, but those outlets who wilfully flout the law should know we intend to stay on their case.
“A small but persistent minority are undermining the trust of the consumer in all of us. It impacts manufacturers and damages consumer confidence in the trade. People need to realise the penalties for passing off and pouring over can be severe; ranging from large fines to criminal charges in the most serious cases.”
In August 2013, The New York, New York Bar in Norwich City Centre was found guilty at Norwich Magistrates Court of pouring over, after a successful case, brought on by Trading Standards and Mast-Jägermeister SE.
The bar owners were fined in excess of £16,000 for deceiving the public and for misusing Jägermeister trademarks on their promotional material. The bar owners tried to blame their bar staff but they 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. The bar has since ceased trading.
Jägermeister is distributed in the UK by Mast-Jaegermeister UK. Best served as an ice cold shot, Jägermeister is a unique herbal spirit that was developed by Curt Mast from a secret recipe and launched in Germany 80 years ago. For more information please call: 0203 1899 500.