Absolutely fabtastic – new Virgin Radio name sails into rocky water

November 2008


In June the Times of India Group brought Virgin Radio from SMG for £53.2 million and had to rebrand the rock radio station in India because they compete with Richard Branson’s Virgin Group in that country and as Branson still holds the rights to the name Virgin Radio in the UK, The Times Of India’s rebranded their new UK radio company as Absolute Radio (as part of its new management company, Absolute Radio International).

But V&S (Vin & Spirit) the proprietor of Absolut (the trade mark of Swedish vodka) was less than impressed and has commenced proceedings against the rebranded Virgin Radio, Absolute Radio. As well as the vodka trade mark V&S owns the Absolut TRacks music project, and claims Virgin Radio is infringing its trade mark and passing its services off as those of V&S. A spokeswoman for V&S stated, “The reason for this is that we consider there is a risk of confusion. We have a well known brand and there is an obvious risk of confusion between Absolut vodka and Absolute Radio. We have filed a complaint and now we go into the legal process.”

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