Anheuser-Busch and Guinness UDV in War of the Red Labels

07 February 2002

New York's Federal Court is to hear a lawsuit lodged by Guinness UDV against Anheuser-Busch alleging that the latter’s new Red Label beer breaches the trademark and brand identity of GUDV’s Johnnie Walker Red Label scotch whisky.

A-B’s high-ticket beer (around $5 a bottle) launched toward the end of last year in New York restaurants and clubs and has since rolled-out to similar watering-holes in London, Buenos Aires, Tokyo and Paris.

GUDV charges that the transgressor brew improperly capitalizes on the popular Red Label whisky brand, not only by use of its name but also by packaging it in lookalike gold and red livery. It seeks a court order to prevent A-B from selling Red Label beer plus, natch, damages and costs.

News source: BrandWeek (USA)