Veuve Clicquot has instructed lawyers to investigate a marketing hoax that used the group's branding to promote tablets that would supposedly dissolve in water to create Champagne.
Veuve Clicquot branding was used to promote hoax Champagne tablets. Image Credit: World Packaging Design Society
Images of the Veuve Clicquot-branded tablets appeared on the internet late last month. Firma, a Russian marketing agency, is believed to be the source of the alka selzer-style tablets, which were named ‘Shhh…ampagne’ and described as a ‘unique packaging concept of soluble Veuve Clicquot Champagne tablets’.
A page promoting the concept appeared on the Firma website, while the news was also carried by some packaging trade publications.
Exact details of how the hoax came about are not clear. Aymeric Sancerre, international spokesperson at Clicquot, denied the brand had anything to do with it.
Veuve Clicquot, he said, ‘used its intellectual property rights to pressurise the Russian agency to stop using this packaging concept and to delete all imagery and communication around it’.
Lawyers for Veuve Clicquot and the regional Comite Champagne have been investigating the Russian agency, but neither group would comment on whether legal action would be taken.
Thibault le Mailloux, Comite Champagne spokesperson, said the body ‘needs to protect the appellation from parasites who are using the strong Champagne image to add credit to their ideas.’
‘People will believe anything where Champagne is concerned,’ he said, in reference to the hoax. ‘The power of the appellation symbol makes people forget that Champagne is in fact a wine.’
Written by Caroline Henry in Champagne