Rupert Leffler, Junior Consultant for EU Affairs with lobbyists Influence Pedl Inc., has caused outrage amongst the firm’s client base by labelling as “significant” the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee first reading vote on the draft directive on the importance of commercial distinction between fundamentally similar products.
Frustrations with the directive appear to have spilled over with Leffler bearing the brunt. In email exchanges seen by the witloof, the words “bitch slap”, reappear regularly. It goes on to say that they would like to “open a can of whoopass” on Leffler’s head.
Influence Pedl Inc. with an address at 1 Rue des Portes Pivotantes, represents a number of clients for whom the directive is problematic, including Pepsi and Murphy’s Stout.
Article 7 of the draft directive stipulates that simply being a different company is not sufficient to prove that the products actually differ. It introduces a requirement for the distinctions between a product and its main competitors to be clearly included on the label. The Parliament, in its infinite wisdom, has voted to maintain this requirement.
Pepsi and Murphy’s, who have mounted expensive lobbying campaigns, have whinged that they cannot comply because their main competitors, Coke and Guinness, will not actually tell them what their products are made of.
The firm’s senior partner, McKensie Mucksavage, Scottish, has moved to calm clients by claiming that Leffler had “slightly overestimated the role of the Parliament in the democratic process”. We are confident that the member states will recognise the anomaly that this proposal creates, he said, possibly forgetting that the Irish have even less influence over Council discussions than the Americans, who are not even present.
Leffler commented obliquely “following on from the recent doubts over my parentage it is the last thing that I needed right now”.
Inside: Murphy’s to reveal country in which legal drinking age is 2.
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