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Spirits battle settled

Gin advert banned in spat over first distillery

Pickering's gin 2An advert for gin has been banned following a spat over which of Edinburgh’s  distilleries can lay claim to be the first in the city.

The Spencerfield Spirit Company which produces Edinburgh Gin in the basement of the Rutland Hotel, complained to the Advertising Standards Authoroity about an advert in which its city rival Pickering’s Gin made such a claim.

Spencerfield, run by industry veteran Alex Nicol, said the advertising material was false and produced historical evidence to show that gin had been distilled in the city during the 20th century.

In a written ruling, the ASA has banned the advert, which was featured on Pickering’s website, its social media feed and in a magazine.

Pickering’s, produced at Summerhall in Newington, has responded to the ruling and said it will add the word “exclusive” to its marketing material.

Marcus Pickering, co-founder, said:  “Following a complaint to the ASA by Edinburgh Gin, we have been working closely with the advertising standards body for some months to ensure that there is no ambiguity whatsoever about our claim to be Edinburgh’s first gin distillery.

“As such we will adapt our sign off to say that we are: “Edinburgh’s 1st (Exclusive) Gin Distillery”.

The main reason for this is some anecdotal evidence that there may have been other spirit producers dabbling in gin in the 1960s.

To avoid any misunderstanding Pickering’s Gin has agreed to add the word “exclusive” to all publicity material.

Mr Pickering, “We have never misled anyone, only stated the truth. There has never been any confusion from any of our customers, members of the public or trade partners.  We want to ensure the public and let Edinburgh Gin know that we were the first distillery exclusively making gin in Edinburgh for 150 years.”

Pickering’s Gin was launched in March last year and is based on an original recipe, handwritten on a fragment of paper dated 17 July 1947. It has been fine-tuned, perfecting its balance and tweaking it for today’s contemporary palate.

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