French alcoholic drinks company Pernod Ricard has criticized Bacardi’s rival rum Havana Club after it released its latest campaign that included the claim the brand's heritage as 'Cuban' as being misleading.
In its latest advert, part of the 'Forever Cuban' campaign (see below), the Bacardi-owned rum brand Havana Club, claimed that founders, the Arechabala family, started their rum-making business in 1878 in Cuba, becoming a beloved and iconic Cuban brand shortly after. Within the advert, the actor, pictured walking along a Cuban street talks about the turbulent history of the brand and states; 'Don't tell us we're not Cuban' defiantly while doing so.
Pernod Ricard and Bacardi both produce spirits named Havana Club and have been in dispute over its trademark ownership for decades.
In a statement given to The Spirit Business, Pernod Ricard said; “Havana Club International stands firm and clear about the authenticity of its rum portfolio – which includes white and dark aged rums that are exclusively and wholly produced in Cub. Havana Club rums are distributed globally except in the USA, due to the ongoing trade embargo.
“The Forever Cuban campaign, recently launched by Bacardi to promote its Puerto Rican rum products in the USA under the name Havana Club Rum, contains a number of misleading statements, the most obvious being a false claim to be the original Havana Club rum.
“The real Havana Club rum, produced through a joint venture between Cuba Ron S.A. and Pernod Ricard, is crafted in Cuba, from cane to glass, using the knowledge and expertise passed down from generation to generation of Maestros del Ron Cubano. As such, it is a 100% authentic Cuban rum.
“We are monitoring the campaign and are committed to our long-term goal of selling our family of authentic and genuine Havana Club Cuban rums in all countries around the world.”
Bacardi responded with the statement: “Pernod Ricard, a French company, continues to partner with the Cuban dictatorship to produce rum under a stolen name. That does not make the Pernod Ricard and Cuban government’s rum brand ‘real,’ or ‘authentic,’ it makes it an impostor.”
At the same time, Pernod Ricard told Shaken News Daily that it remained confident it will prevail in the long-running battle over the U.S. trademark.
In a statement, Pernod Ricard said, “There is only one Havana Club, and it’s made in Cuba, from Cuban sugar cane, by Maestros del Ron Cubano according to a know-how that’s several hundred years old. Bacardi’s rum sold under the Havana Club name is misleading to consumers as it is made in Puerto Rico."
"We expect to prevail in the trademark dispute, and when the embargo is eventually lifted we’ll be the first company to sell genuine Cuban rum in the U.S. under our Havana Club trademark, bringing a taste of Cuba to our American friends.”