Beer in brief

Magners has said it has considered legal action to stem the flow of lookalike brands aiming to muscle in on its success. "It's always an avenue that's open to us," said UK marketing manager Scott Fairbairn. "We can't influence what other people do. There are times when we're not happy with some of the packaging. Some of our problems don't just come from own-labels but our big competitors that have got extremely close to us, but proving passing off is extremely difficult to prove. We think our time is better spent explaining to consumers why our brand is better rather than why competitors' brands are worse."

(Cider feature - pages 27-32)

Scottish & Newcastle UK's annual Biggest Round consumer campaign has resulted in more than 269,000 trials in the first seven weeks of the

drive. This year's campaign is focusing on four S&N UK premium cider brands: Bulmers Original, Bulmers Pear, Jacques Fruits of the Forest and Jacques Orchard Fruits. While Jacques Fruits of the Forest has been the most frequently sampled brand, unit sales of Bulmers Pear have been the highest of the featured products.

A £1.2 million through-the-line marketing campaign for Blackthorn cider will highlight the brand's sporting connections with its native South West of England. The Loving Sport in Blackthorn Country campaign includes regional print, radio and outdoor advertising, and plays on sporting humour and language. The

push also includes the sponsorships of sports teams and a PR campaign supporting popular sports in the region, such as skittles.