Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Can Veuve Clicquot affect your sight/ judgment?

 The orange label of Ciro Picariello

The yellow orange of Veuve Clicquot

Champagne giant Veuve Clicquot, part of the LVMH group, is reported to be suing Ciro Picariello, a small Italian producer in Campania over the alleged similarity of their labels. See story on Wine Searcher.

Given the striking lack of similarity between the two labels you have to wonder whether a close association with Veuve Clicquot can make you colour blind and affect your judgment? It certainly appears to have that effect on their executives!

As Diana Goodman comments in the Wine Searcher news story: 'Ciro Picariello, a family owned winery in Campania, produces just 3,500 bottles of its fiano-based Brut Contadino each year, and sports a distinctive orange label.'  

So not only is there no similarity between the two labels, Ciro Picariello poses no commercial threat to Veuve Clicquot. This is just another highly unpleasant example of pernicious corporate bullying. Unfortunately Veuve Clicquot has past form here – in early 2001 they successfully intimidated the Stefano Lubiana Winery in Tasmania using legal threats claiming that the colour of the Lubiana labels were similar to those of Veuve Clicquot – they weren't, although the difference was perhaps not quite as stark as in this new case.

Back in 2001 social media hardly existed, it will be interesting to see whether social media pressure this time can persuade Veuve Clicquot to back off realising that their ludicrous legal action damages the reputation of Veuve Clicquot Champagne. 


Interesting court judgment in Canada from 2006 where Veuve Clicquot failed in its attempt to stop a small chain of mid-priced women's clothes using the name Cliquot. Judges decided that shoppers sufficiently savvy to tel difference between Champagne and women's clothes.     

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