Deus: sparkling beer

By registered letter with AR

Epernay, 8 June 2011

Dear Sirs,
The Comite interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CJVC) is a French body entrusted with a public service mission to co-ordinate the common interests of wine growers and houses in Champagne, and to promote and protect the appellation of origin “Champagne”. As you are certainly aware, “Champagne” is one of the most reputed and most prestigious appellations of origin used for many centuries to designate exclusively wines originating from the Champagne area, in France, and produced according to strict rules and regulations. After many centuries of effort, the “Champagne” appellation has come to represent a worldwide benchmark for quality, authenticity and excellence. Among the key duties of the CIVC is the protection of the “Champagne” appellation against any misuse and any use which would weaken its reputation.
National laws and transborder regulations ensure the name “Champagne” is broadly protected against any exploitation of its reputation, imitation, evocation, or any use likely to mislead consumers.
In 2002, the CIVC was informed that the Belgium company “Brouwerij Bosteels” launched the “DEUS” beer with an advertising campaign making unduly reference to the “Champagne” appellation and “methode champenoise”.
We opposed this behavior. The Belgian Court of first instance in Nivelles held in 2003 that the use and the reference to the “Champagne” appellation and “methode champenoise” for advertising the “DEUS” beer was unfair practice. The Court ordered the cessation of these practices. The judgment was confirmed by the Court of Appeal in 2004.
We have recently noticed that your website http://www.wi includes many references to the “Champagne” appellation and/or to “methode champenoise” in relation with the ” DEUS” beer, whereas such use was expressly forbidden by the judge who found it contrary to regulations in force.
In light of the above, we ask you to immediately amend, delete or block the access to the internet pages which misuse the “Champagne” appellation when presenting the Belgian beer “DEUS”. We appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to hearing from you upon receipt of this letter, and no later than 1st July 2011 .
Yours faithfully,
Le directeur general
jean-Luc barbier