Absolut lashes out at rebranded radio station

Rebranded Absolute Radio

has dismissed

legal action from Absolut vodka alleging


name infringes the

brand's trademark .

Absolut owner Vin & Sprit issued

a writ at the High Court in London against Absolute Radio - the new name for Virgin Radio - alleging that it was passing off its services as those of the vodka brand, and that it was concerned it could damage the brand's responsible image.

A statement from Vin & Sprit said: "We see a risk for confusion and consider this as passing-off.

Absolute Radio targets a wider and younger audience than Absolut vodka in different media channels.

"Consumers could perceive this as undue advertising to young people who are not of legal drinking age, which goes against the efforts of Absolut vodka as a responsible spirits brand.

"We now want to allow the legal process to take place

and do not want to comment until the court has reached a decision."

But an Absolute Radio source dismissed the claim as "ridiculous".

The source added: "It's like Polo mint, polo shirt and Polo car . No one gets those mixed up, do they?"

Virgin Radio was rebranded after being bought by the Times of India group in June, with the rights to the Virgin Radio name reverting to Richard Branson .

A statement

by the station said: "We absolutely believe

the two brands can exist alongside each other and that our 5 million listeners can distinguish between a vodka brand and a radio station.

"We hope for a swift resolution to this situation and remain 100% committed to our exciting plans for Absolute Radio."