We'll Meet Again
10 April 2020
Vera Lynn – the gin!
The Vera Lynn wartime anthem “We’ll meet again” has enjoyed a renewed interest since The Queen referenced the song in her recent televised address to the nation at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown. That reminded me of a case towards the end of last year where gin company Halewood International was ordered to pay £1,800 in legal costs after its application to register the VERA LYNN trade mark for alcoholic drinks failed in the face of an opposition from Dame Vera Lynn. This was a somewhat cheeky attempt by the spirit and drinks company to use the singer’s name as Cockney rhyming slang for “gin”; they applied to register the trade mark in June 2018 and Dame Vera was prompt in objecting.
Dame Vera opposed the application, claiming that it could be seen as an endorsement by her of the product. Halewood claimed that the mark would be seen as a reference to Cockney rhyming slang rather than to Dame Vera, as she had not engaged in celebrity endorsement and was therefore not known for it. The decision went very firmly in her favour on the basis that she was extremely well-known, perfectly entitled to engage in endorsement work, or not, and that the mark would clearly be a reference to her.
We will never know whether she toasted her success with a stiff G&T!
[The Vera Lynn photo is used under the Creative Commons license and is the work of Eric Koch / Anefo. More details]