The ginaissance has spawned so many gins that distillers, aided and abetted by clever marketeers, resort to desperate measures to get their hooch attention. It may be the appearance of the bottle, the name of the spirit or even, heaven forbid, the taste and quality of the drink. Sometimes these efforts can go spectacularly wrong.
In the Causeway Bay district there is a street called Fuk Hing Lane, a name, I am told, which means “fortune and prosper”. In its Anglicised form it would create just the kind of mix of excitement and shock that any self-respecting marketeer would die for, or so the Incognito Group thought.
And so, Fok Hing Gin was born. Sadly, though, the folks at the Independent Complaints upheld a complaint from the public that the name was clearly intended to cause serious or widespread offence, the first ruling of its type.
Despite having changed the u in Fuk to o to differentiate it from the Anglo-Saxon swear word, their marketing which included endearing lines like “those that don’t like the name can FOK OFF” rather weakened their case in front of the adjudication panel. The Incognito Group have agreed to rebrand.
Where that leaves The Fekin Unbelievable Irish Gin with its wonderful hit of juniper and lemon is anybody’s guess.