“Thank you, you’ve helped us go viral and generated more press and traffic we could ever imagine.”
In the UK, a Hong Kong based gin company was deemed to be offensive in a landmark ruling by the UK’s drinks industry watchdog.
“The name of the product Fok Hing Gin is clearly intended to shock and be pronounced as an offensive term – marketing comments I’ve seen online include ‘Fokthehaters’ and those who don’t like the name can ‘fok off’,” the complainant said.
It’s also said that the story of Fok Hing’s name was ‘unclear’ from the packaging materials, and that some of the marketing was ‘inconsistent’ with the company’s claim that the name was not wordplay for swearing.
Brand calls complainant a Karen
In a statement posted on their Facebook page, the brand called the complainant a ‘Karen’ and wrote,
“A letter to the Karen that tried to cancel us because she got offended by a few romanised Chinese words and a street name…and then took time out of her day to file a report…”
“To the Karen who got offended by our name… We’re genuinely sorry… that you haven’t had the experience of different cultures and their unique diversities.”
“We’d be delighted to show you around Hong Kong one day (if you ever make it past its borders),” they added cheekily.
They added, “We’ll make sure to update our back label with a more descriptive narrative of our brand story. We’re almost out of labels anyways for our award winning sell-out gin!”
“Thank you, you’ve helped us go viral and generated more press and traffic we could ever imagine—more effective than a PR agency! Might we suggest a new hobby?”
Incognito Group said, “Through consultation with the Portman Group, we have agreed to update the reverse label to be more descriptive of the details that inspired our brand, and look forward to introducing our UK fans to a little bit of Hong Kong history whilst they enjoy Fok Hing Gin during the forthcoming festive season and beyond.”
However, the complainant commented: “I welcome the fact that Incognito Group participated and co-operated with the enquiry.”
“However, I am in no doubt that their explanation of both the product name and promotional activity was to an extent fabricated and a cynical cover story prepared in the event of a complaint – they knew exactly what they were doing in naming and promoting the product in the way they did.”
Do you think that the complainant is overreacting? Let us know in the comments.
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