Jump to content


Photo

TTB label rejection recourse?

ttb label

  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 Michael B

Michael B

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:California

Posted 07 March 2012 - 05:08 PM

So we recently received a label rejection and they cited a need for us to remove a particular word/ingredient (I'd rather not say which word/ingredient at this point) from the label because it inferred a health claim. However, there is another brand (same spirit- vodka) currently out there which uses this same exact word/ingredient on its front label. Unless TTB has recently rejected their prior approval of this brand's use of the word/ingredient, it appears they're inconsistent.

I don't know the innards of the ttb labeling department, but do I have any recourse here (besides hiring an expensive attorney)?

Thanks for any wisdom, experience, advice you can impart on this one!

Michael

#2 Kristian

Kristian

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 166 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Loveland Colorado

Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:20 PM

Call the specialist assigned to your COLA. Be respectful and persistent. Share the example.

#3 Lenny

Lenny

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 169 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Buena Vista, CO
  • Interests:whiskey + beer

Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:43 AM

I can tell you that the TTB (at least the reps I dealt with) do not pay much credence to past precedents they may have set. When I brought up to them the number of labels in the market that they have approved, which are doing exactly what I have been trying to do, they scoffed it off by saying that any of those that made it though in the past were mistakes. How bout one more mistake, guy?

I responded to their rejection with a rapid fire of 5+ variations (most of which were again rejected the same day they were submitted). I'm the farthest thing on an expert on dealings of these sorts, but I will offer two bits of advice... 1. Know who you're dealing with - some TTB reps roll with a higher iq and ability to reach logical conclusions than others. If you get the wrong specialist on your case, consider making a change and hope someone else picks it up. I know I've had multiple reps on my case - and have no doubt infuriated a few of them. 2. Be willing to make a departure from your original intentions. It hurts to do so but in interest of moving forward, it might be necessary. That's not to say you can't be creative in your iterations and ultimately get close to what your original intent was without getting kicked by the ttb rejection boot.

I feel your pain. Best of luck.

#4 FrEwing

FrEwing

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 181 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia
  • Interests:Havin fun making tasty liqueurs

Posted 09 March 2012 - 09:52 PM

To Deerhammer: How were you able to change COLA reps?

#5 Lenny

Lenny

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 169 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Buena Vista, CO
  • Interests:whiskey + beer

Posted 10 March 2012 - 12:10 AM

Our rep was out (asuming vacation) and during the time that our request for an expedited review was approved. I suppose having more than one rep on ones case isn't the norm.

#6 Curtis McMillan

Curtis McMillan

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 223 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Worcester
  • Interests:ωнιѕкєу ( вσυявση & ѕσттн )

Posted 12 March 2012 - 07:52 AM

I deal with inconsistency like a normal person

Posted Image

#7 Michael B

Michael B

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:California

Posted 12 March 2012 - 09:51 AM

Haha. Of course.

"I am not a vigilante. I am just trying to get home to my little girl's birthday party and if everyone will just stay out of my way, nobody will get hurt."

Michael

#8 Curtis McMillan

Curtis McMillan

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 223 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Worcester
  • Interests:ωнιѕкєу ( вσυявση & ѕσттн )

Posted 14 March 2012 - 07:52 AM

We are all just trying to get home to our little girls birthday party, and TTB has to come and make nonsense rules that fuck it all up.

#9 cphillips

cphillips

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 32 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:North Carolina
  • Interests:Tasting good spirits!

Posted 07 May 2012 - 05:37 AM

Could it be possible that the company that is using this has had it a long time and has it "grandfathered", I have seen this numerous times with other beverages.

#10 Michael B

Michael B

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:California

Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:33 AM

I guess it could be a grandfathering reason, though the other biz has only had their product on the market for about two years.

#11 daveflintstone

daveflintstone

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 414 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hawaii
  • Interests:distilling

Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:59 AM

TTB has previously informed me there is no grandfathering in alcohol. The exact words, "alcohol is different".

#12 grehorst

grehorst

    Advanced Member

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPip
  • 384 posts
  • Location:Milwaukee, WI

Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:45 PM

Having experienced this myself numerous times, I can only say that you're at their mercy. We tried using the word Apertif and were shut down- implies health benefit. Our absinthe labels took a year to get approved because of SO MANY stupid little issues that I'm not sure I remember them all. "can't have the word absinthe on a line all by itself", "can't use a year on the label without another modifying word on the same line or it infers a vintage" Suffice it to say we are the only absinthe on the market that had to state "Thujone Free" on the label despite all absinthe on the market being thujone free.

I'm usually a fighter, but they have demonstrated again and again that there is no consistent logic applied to the label review. I have fought and fought and there is no logical path with them on these issues, there seems to be no recourse at all. My advice is to move past it and get your product out anyway you can, the omission or addition of a word will likely not have an effect on sales.

#13 Charles@AEppelTreow

Charles@AEppelTreow

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 284 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Burlington, WI
  • Interests:cider, perry, pommeau, calvados, methode champenoise

Posted 08 May 2012 - 06:16 AM

'Digestif', Guy. 'Aperitif' is a class/type of wine - Different volume of the Beverage Manual :-) I banged my head against that wall when I sought an 'apple vermouth' label. No go. You can have an apple aperitif - but vermouth is specifically grape based.

All in the name of protecting consumers who don't know what either 'vermouth', or 'aperitif' mean in the first place.

#14 grehorst

grehorst

    Advanced Member

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPip
  • 384 posts
  • Location:Milwaukee, WI

Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:37 AM

Correct Charles- I get sloppy when typing through anger.

#15 YoungMonk

YoungMonk

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts

Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:12 PM

Is this other brand you're talking about the only brand that uses the word or ingredient you are trying to copy on your bottle?

#16 Michael B

Michael B

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:California

Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:12 PM

Yes, that is the only other brand whose label I've seen it on.

#17 sailorman9

sailorman9

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 52 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Coleman, WI

Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:30 PM

The "Big Boys" use different label approval techniques than the "micro's". They submit hundreds of label designs for approval. There is a link on the TTB site, I can't find it right now. It shows all the label approvals, note the dates and label numbers. I've found that if you start out with 5 labels that you would be happy with and make 30 variations on each one that you will net 60 - 75 approvals (some of the approvals are sent 2 minutes apart; is that even time to open the attachment?). Don't even bother trying to fix the rejections, just use one of the approvals. This is the fastest way to an approval. Each submission takes 3.5 to 4 minutes, so just figure that it's going to take 8 - 10 hours to submit the 150 labels.

I've also tried the Full appeal process as an experiment. They sat on it for 90 days and stated that they needed another 90. After the initial 180 days, they still needed more time to review. They called me and I stated that I wanted to come out to Washington and present my case to a federal judge. I had the label approval right around 270 days.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users