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.
Launched in the United Kingdom in 1953, Babycham 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".
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 summation 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.
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  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.
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) which was a well-known advertising company in London.
In the 2000s
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- Law Reports, Oct 30, Nov 2, Nov 4, 1965, The Times Digital Archive
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