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For all you pros out there -- Tito's Lawsuit

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Re: For all you pros out there -- Tito's Lawsuit

Postby Kapea » Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:28 pm

Thinks the consumer to himself, "Man, this is some great tasting vodka at a good price! But, but, it's not handmade in a copper pot still?! LIARS! CRETINS!! I want you to pay me to drink it!"

:doh:

If you don't like it, vote with your dollars and don't buy it.
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Re: For all you pros out there -- Tito's Lawsuit

Postby kiwi » Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:48 pm

sugarcreek wrote:Sorry guys. Have to disagree with many of you. As a consumer I have the right to expect the label accurately describes the product in the bottle. Do you think that if the plaintiff wrote a letter asking Tito's nicely to change their label to reflect how the contents were actually made rather than a blatant lie they would have acquiesced? Of course they wouldn't have. I wont pick at nits regarding the "hand made" notation as that's too open for interpretation. But suggesting they make their spirit in a pot still "distilled six times" (and that wouldn't even get you to 190) simply misleads the consumer.


Yeah. It's a big problem around here with craft beer - the big guys are wising up and starting to produce new brands of swill as 'craft' beer when it's being pumped out of the same old factory (still tastes crap). It's confusing for consumers especially new ones, that may then generalise an experience to more authentic offerings that actually are made in a pot still or with whatever feature they happen to be lying about. When did it ever become acceptable to lie to your customers? I'm a little surprised some folk here think this is ok.
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Re: For all you pros out there -- Tito's Lawsuit

Postby Jaybird » Sun Oct 05, 2014 11:15 pm

Kapea wrote:Thinks the consumer to himself, "Man, this is some great tasting vodka at a good price! But, but, it's not handmade in a copper pot still?! LIARS! CRETINS!! I want you to pay me to drink it!"

:doh:

If you don't like it, vote with your dollars and don't buy it.


TOTALLY AGREE!


Question. Was the company and the product started and labeled as such? Was the owner able to maintain quality of product AND keep up with demand without changing the name? Coke-a-Cola USE TO be make with COKE hence the name! Is it any longer made with coke? Is it still called Coke? I rest my case!


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Re: For all you pros out there -- Tito's Lawsuit

Postby Kapea » Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:46 am

kiwi wrote:When did it ever become acceptable to lie to your customers? I'm a little surprised some folk here think this is ok.

I don't think it's OK. I just don't base my purchasing decisions on label claims. Apparently deceptive advertising has been around for at least a couple of millennia; hence the phrase "caveat emptor."

And I really don't give a rat's ass about production - 50 gallon shiny copper pot still, or 5000 gallons per day continuous; it's the product that matters. Good cuts mean a whole lot more to me than words or pictures on a label. I'm not prone to choosing form over function.
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Re: For all you pros out there -- Tito's Lawsuit

Postby John Barleycorn » Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:14 am

Kapea wrote:Does the TTB have a specific definition for "handmade?"

Bingo. That's a big part of the problem ... and why the TTB will claim (already has claimed) that approval is not approval. <*Sheesh!*> So the mess starts here. They'll split hairs over terms that involve age statements, and you better be damned accurate with your gauging and strength statements (of course ... revenue is involved) ... but in this case, they'll approve something that lies outside of their own definitions (i.e. -- whatever is in the CFR) without a second glance.

Another thing that makes this so messy is that the whole "Truth in Advertising" is generally considered to be "corrective" rather than punitive. That is, just clean up your label and all is well ... and it's really focused on actual advertising, not labelling per se.

Regardless, the court document states:

SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA - COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO
Case No. 37-2014-00031150-CU-NP-CTL

13. Consumers are particularly vulnerable to these kinds of false and deceptive labeling practices. Most consumers possess very limited knowledge of the likelihood that products, including the Vodka at issue herein, that are claimed to be “Handmade” are in fact: (1) made from commercially manufactured NGS that is trucked and pumped into TITO’s industrial facility; (2) distilled in a large industrial complex with modern, technologically advanced stills; and (3) produced and bottled in extremely large quantities (i.e., it is “mass produced”). This entire process is devoid of the caring touch of human hands. This is a material factor in many individuals’ purchasing decisions, as they believe they are purchasing a product made in small amounts that is of inherently superior quality.


So, Ok ... point taken ... it's certainly not what I would consider "Handmade" nor "Crafted in an Old Fashioned Pot Still."

Is it a good product? I have no idea ... never tried it myself. But people I trust say it's good.

Am I now less likely to buy it? No.

If I bought it and drank it, would I file a lawsuit because of the label (regardless of whether or not I liked it)? Not on your life! If I don't like it or feel it's over-priced, I'll find something else. The same way I do when I shop for peanut butter, ginger ale, whatever. Done.

Do I think the label is misleading? Yes. There are plenty of idiots out there. I figure they get what they deserve, but the law sometimes sees things differently than I do. :roll: But I think the following except from the court doc pretty much says it all wrt the "plaintiffs" who consider themselves to have sustained "damages:"

This reliance on the “Handmade” label to make their purchasing decisions is typical of most California consumers.

... education and objective evaluation no longer seem to matter ... only the lowest common denominator. <*SIGH*>

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Re: For all you pros out there -- Tito's Lawsuit

Postby Kapea » Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:39 am

John Barleycorn wrote:But I think the following except from the court doc pretty much says it all wrt the "plaintiffs" who consider themselves to have sustained "damages:"

This reliance on the “Handmade” label to make their purchasing decisions is typical of most California consumers.

... education and objective evaluation no longer seem to matter ... only the lowest common denominator. <*SIGH*>

--JB

:roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:

Lowest common denominator... That is the general consensus evaluation around here of what the self-important people who come from there are like (except amongst themselves, of course).

I recently bought a portable generator. There in big bold bright colored letters, right in the middle of the gas tank was a warning label:
WARNING! CHEMICALS USED IN THE OPERATION OF THIS DEVICE ARE KNOWN BY THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA TO CAUSE CANCER.

Well whoop-dee-doo! Who gives a shit what the State of California knows? (besides the nanny State of California) :screwy:

Gasoline causes cancer?! GASP! Who knew?
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Re: For all you pros out there -- Tito's Lawsuit

Postby John Barleycorn » Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:57 am

It'll be interesting (and telling) how this turns out. I think the whole thing will blow over. Maybe the TTB will tighten up it's COLA process a bit to avoid such issues.

There's one statement that keeps setting off an alarm, at least in my mind: "as they believe they are purchasing a product made in small amounts that is of inherently superior quality." (emphasis added)

Some stylish class action lawyer probably figured that statement seals the deal. He may have cut his own throat. Everything depends on the plaintiff's perception, not necessarily Tito's label. And his (the plaintiff's) perception is often plain wrong. In many cases, the opposite is true. It will be easy to find many case studies that show how large-scale production leads to higher quality.

I'd love to read the court transcripts if it ever goes that far ... could be very entertaining ... reading how Mr. Hoffman perceives "superior quality" in a spirit that, by law, is supposed to be "without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color." :doh:
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Re: For all you pros out there -- Tito's Lawsuit

Postby apoplectic epileptic » Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:02 pm

Zymurgy Bob wrote:Damn! There goes my example of a good-tasting exception to the "vodka must be produced on a techno-still" rule.

I'm not much of a vodka drinker, and don't really understand what people seek in a "good" vodka, but I like Tito's a lot for sipping.



I work a block away from a distillery, a brewery and a barley malting facility; oh the odors we must (pun intended) endure...

Anyway the distillery makes Alberta Vodka, it's like making love in a gas station... fucking close to gasoline.

I can tell after a sip or two if vodka is hangover juice or not; don't like that stuff.
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Re: For all you pros out there -- Tito's Lawsuit

Postby apoplectic epileptic » Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:16 pm

Jaybird wrote:
Kapea wrote:Thinks the consumer to himself, "Man, this is some great tasting vodka at a good price! But, but, it's not handmade in a copper pot still?! LIARS! CRETINS!! I want you to pay me to drink it!"

:doh:

If you don't like it, vote with your dollars and don't buy it.


TOTALLY AGREE!


Question. Was the company and the product started and labeled as such? Was the owner able to maintain quality of product AND keep up with demand without changing the name? Coke-a-Cola USE TO be make with COKE hence the name! Is it any longer made with coke? Is it still called Coke? I rest my case!


Jay



Coca-Cola is still flavoured with an extract of coca leaves.
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Re: For all you pros out there -- Tito's Lawsuit

Postby Cap'n Canuck » Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:28 pm

I dunno. If you aren't using a pot still, and aren't making it by hand, then you shouldn't be allowed to say you are. Anything else is being deceptive. Even if you once did. Running purchased grain spirits through another column is not exactly artisnal.

Some folks buy to support the little guy. Pretending you're the little guy when you're not is not right. Congrats! You're grey goose. You're not the little guy running it through a post still a bunch anymore. Lying is bad. Suit makes sense to me.
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Re: For all you pros out there -- Tito's Lawsuit

Postby Dan P. » Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:56 pm

As a consumer of vodka, if it is important to you you will know that vodka in the US is necessarily a non "hand made" (i.e. artisanal) product, due to the requirements of the TTB definition. That's one can of worms, which might or might not include the question; "If you care about how it tastes, why are you drinking vodka?".

Now, I for one am not saying it is good to lie. What I said is that you would have to be a big dildo to pursue a man over the loose wording of his labels. Now, I don't know about the whole "copper pot still" thing. If he doesn't use one, he shouldn't say he does.
However, as a small businessman, I do appreciate that we as small, struggling and, yes, sometimes "artisanal" producers are held to a very much higher standard than the bigger producers. Is that fair? No it is not. Advertising is advertising. The product is good or it isn't, but as long as it is what it says it is on the label, i.e. vodka, not milk or methanol or anchovies or creamed corn, i.e. fit for purpose and not harmful to health, then any little flourishes of description should be taken for what they are, and with a pinch of salt. It is, after all, how the status quo has been since the mid 1800s at the latest.
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Re: For all you pros out there -- Tito's Lawsuit

Postby Cap'n Canuck » Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:18 pm

Dan P. wrote:As a consumer of vodka, if it is important to you you will know that vodka in the US is necessarily a non "hand made" (i.e. artisanal) product, due to the requirements of the TTB definition. That's one can of worms, which might or might not include the question; "If you care about how it tastes, why are you drinking vodka?".

Now, I for one am not saying it is good to lie. What I said is that you would have to be a big dildo to pursue a man over the loose wording of his labels. Now, I don't know about the whole "copper pot still" thing. If he doesn't use one, he shouldn't say he does.
However, as a small businessman, I do appreciate that we as small, struggling and, yes, sometimes "artisanal" producers are held to a very much higher standard than the bigger producers. Is that fair? No it is not. Advertising is advertising. The product is good or it isn't, but as long as it is what it says it is on the label, i.e. vodka, not milk or methanol or anchovies or creamed corn, i.e. fit for purpose and not harmful to health, then any little flourishes of description should be taken for what they are, and with a pinch of salt. It is, after all, how the status quo has been since the mid 1800s at the latest.


Dude isn't s small business anymore. hence the issues. While I might pay a bunch more for the product from a small artisnal producer, there's no way in hell I'm holding the macro guys to the same standard I would a little guy.
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