Vodka brand Absolut sues Times of India’s Absolute Radio

MUMBAI: Swedish vodka brand Absolut has undertaken legal proceedings against the Times of India Group’s Absolute Radio, which was earlier known as Virgin Radio.

Absolut has sued Absolute Radio for trademark infringement.

Earlier this year, Virgin Radio was bought over by a consortium including the Times of India Group’s subsidiary company Times Infotainment Media Ltd (TIML) for £53.2 million.

According to media reports, Absolut believes that consumers are likely to be confused over the use of similar names and that Absolute Radio could be detrimental to its vodka brand.

As part of the legal action, V&S Vin&Sprit, the company that owns the Absolut brand, has issued a writ to force Absolute Radio International to revoke its trademarking of the name Absolute Radio International, which it trademarked in 2003.

Drinks company V&S Vin&Sprit, which owns the Absolut vodka brand and Absolut Tracks music project, has issued a writ against Absolute Radio for trademark infringement and "passing off" – misrepresenting its services as those of Absolut.

Absolute Radio shares a name with its new management company, Absolute Radio International.

According to a media report, Absolute Radio is willing to fight the legal battle and was confident of winning. "We absolutely believe that the two brands can exist alongside each other and that our 5 million listeners can distinguish between a vodka brand and a radio station. We hope for a swift resolution to this situation and remain 100% committed to our exciting plans for Absolute Radio," Absolute Radio spokesperson was quoted as saying in the Brand Republic.

The re-branding exercise of Absolute Radio formally took effect on 28 September. As part of this, the radio station rolled out a television campaign with nine commercials featuring Hollywood actor Jordan Prentice along with the station’s DJs Christian O’Connell and Geoff Lloyd.

Absolute Radio’s tag-line is ‘That’s good, that’s real good.’