English winemaker stages sit-in against “Best of British” display

Bob Lindo of the Cornish winery Camel Valley conducted a sit-in at Gatwick airport after spotting Lanson Champagne under a “Best of British” display.

A tweeted picture by Bob Lindo of the "Best of British" display at Gatwick Airport

He asked for the World Duty Free Group marketing campaign to be taken down and sat beside the display until it was removed.

Champagne Lanson, established in 1760, is the second largest Champagne in the world and has continuously held The Royal Warrant since 1860.

To celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Lanson Black Label Champagne is bottle-wrapped in a neoprene sleeve with a union flag design.

The bottle comes with a removable thermal jacket to keep the Champagne cold while customers toast the UK summer events.

World Duty Free Group has apologised for placing the Lanson Union Jack edition under the “Best of British” signage and explained Lanson was not aware of the placement of this product.

However Lindo is annoyed that the display showed a lack of respect to British wine producers.

“The basic thing is that we are shown respect for what we produce,” Lindo told the drinks business.

“I was travelling through Gatwick Airport from the London International Wine Fair and spotted the ‘Best of British’ campaign.

“But on further investigation it was shown that Lanson bottles were presented in a Union Jack sleeve under the banner.

“I asked the store management to take it down as a point of false advertising, they said they could not, so I sat down beside the display and waited.

“The sign was eventually removed and I would call it a small victory and at least people in Gatwick will not be genuinely misled.”

English Wine Producers, the trade body representing English wine, has complained to trading standards officers. 

The World Duty Free Group commented: “The placement of the Lanson Union Jack edition under the ‘Best of British’ signage in our World Duty Free store at Gatwick airport, as seen by Mr Lindo, was incorrect and was positioned in error locally.

“The Best of British signage was developed to showcase the many British products that we do sell at World Duty Free and the Lanson product was never planned for this space.

“To avoid any possibility of confusion, stores have now been instructed to remove all Best of British signage.

“The Lanson Union Jack ice jacket was designed to celebrate, support and embrace the British summer of celebration. Lanson were not aware of the placement of this product”

Lindo concluded: “This is not an anti-Champagne feeling and I like the Champagne region. But this incident has just left me feeling bad after the success English wine had at LIWF 2012.”

6 Responses to “English winemaker stages sit-in against “Best of British” display”

  1. Alison Dillon says:

    Considering the Champenois are SO hot in protecting their own name it really is a bit rich to blatantly hijack the Union Jack for such commercial gain-Royal Warrant Holder or not, Best of British or not!
    Well done to Bob Lindo in taking a stance🇬🇧

  2. Bayden Rank says:

    Darned right he was correct in his action. As someone else has said the French Champagne district are incredibly protective of the name and that they hijacked the Union Flag for advertising reasons is outrageous to say the least.

    Good job they did not use The Olympic symbols or Locog would have dropped on them like a tonne of bricks.

  3. Tom says:

    Today Lanson employees will be clicking their glasses honoring Mr Lindo for raising awareness of their brand to an international audience.

  4. Jacqueline Franklin says:

    Always good when ‘direct action’ pays off. Well done!

  5. Mark Swift says:

    Here at Carr Taylor Vineyard we have recently won three bronzes in major competitions for our ‘sparklers’. As we care for the environment, I think a sticker is in order for every bottle. It should read simply ‘Frog Friendly’ and might feature a small caricature of a frog. In a beret and with a string of onions around its neck…..

  6. Juliette Morgan says:

    Good on you Bob for taking one for the team.

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