Diary: Kalashnikov goes out with a bang...

Drinks industry watchdog the Portman Group's decision to effectively ban Kalashnikov Vodka - for the name's association with violence - could be an issue for a number of rival drinks brands.

Are we going to see the end of other established brands named after implements of death? What of Spitfire and Bombardier beer, Claymore Scotch Whisky and Bulleit Bourbon?

So asks Kalashnikov Joint Stock Vodka Company MD John Florey, who questions the independence of a body funded by the major alcohol companies.

Meanwhile, Diary wonders why it took so long for the Portman Group to crack down on the name in the first place.

Kalashnikov Vodka, er, exploded onto the scene last April with a rapid-fire succession of media coverage. However, it took until late October for the Portman Group to begin its investigation, by which time Kalashnikov had spent £50,000 on a Talk Loud-led PR campaign.

'All publicity is good publicity,' shrugs Florey, marvelling at the high-profile worldwide coverage it has attracted since the ruling.

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