Babycham

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The Babycham trademark fawn outside the factory in Shepton Mallet

Babycham is the trade name of a light, sparkling perry invented by Francis Showering, a brewer in Shepton Mallet in Somerset, England; the name is now owned by Accolade Wines. The brand was particularly popular during the 1960s and 1970s.[1]

History[edit]

Launched in the United Kingdom in 1953,[2] It was the first alcoholic product to be advertised on British commercial television, the campaign being launched in 1957, with the drink originally marketed as a "genuine champagne perry".[3]

In 1965, the Babycham Company sued the food writer, Raymond Postgate, founder of the Good Food Guide, for an article in Holiday magazine in which he warned readers against Babycham, which "looks like champagne and is served in champagne glasses [but] is made of pears". The company sued for libel, claiming the article implied it was dishonestly passing off Babycham as champagne. The judge in his summing up stated that the article was defamatory, but that the jury could consider it as "fair comment" rather than a factual statement. Postgate was acquitted, and awarded costs.[4]

In 1978, the Babycham company was sued by French Champagne producers for abuse of their trade name. The case (H P Bulmer Ltd v J Bollinger SA [1978] RPC 79) hinged on the fact that Babycham had been described in advertising as ‘champagne perry’ or ‘champagne cider’. Champagne producers were litigating to protect their goodwill but because there would not actually be confusion, they were unsuccessful.[5]

The brand's appeal waned with the rise of cheaply available alternatives and a tightening up of the regulations governing alcohol advertising on television. 1996 saw a major relaunch of the brand and the reintroduction of the fawn mascot, a giant model of which can be seen outside the Shepton Mallet factory where the drink is produced. 1997 saw the reintroduction of Babycham Babe beauty contests that had been popular in the 1960s. The iconic 'Babycham' logo was designed and created by John Emperor of CDP (Collett Dickenson Pearce) who were a well known advertising company in London.

In the 2000s[edit]

In the first decade of the 21st century, the Babycham brand gained popularity outside the alcoholic beverage industry through authorized clothing and apparel featuring the fawn trademark and colourful, characteristically playful designs.

During 2011 sales were reported to be increasing, with approximately 15 million bottles sold each year.[6][7]

In 2013 a trademark dispute between Accolade Wines and the Cath Kidston home furnishings company was taken to the High Court.[8][9][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25302633
  2. ^ "Babycham Collectables". Miller's antiques and collectables. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Norman, Philip (May 2004). Babycham Night: A Boyhood at the End of the Pier (Extract: The Way We Drank — Babycham). Pan Books. ISBN 0-330-48056-1. 
  4. ^ Law Reports, Oct 30, Nov 2, Nov 4, 1965, The Times Digital Archive
  5. ^ See for example [1] or [2]
  6. ^ Beckett, Fiona. "Why is Babycham popular again?". Guardian. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  7. ^ Kerslake, Ross. "Blast from the perry past: Babycham". The Drinks Business. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  8. ^ "Babycham In Cath Kidston Logo Legal Battle". Sky News. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "Babycham sues Cath Kidston over leaping baby deer logo". Telegraph. 13 February 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "Babycham logo row could cost fashion firm Cath Kidston deer". Western Daily Press. 15 February 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 

External links[edit]