February 2020

Royal Danish Cigars forced to change its name. For over a decade, Royal Danish Cigars has been on the market. But the Danish Royals made it clear that it must end. The Danish Royal Family wants to distance themselves from tobacco, even though it is known that some of the family members are lovers of the leaf. The secretary of the Danish Royal family did not contact the company but wrote to tobacconists all over Denmark through e-mail. They demanded that the shops would cease selling the cigars immediately. The Danish consumer protection agency, Forbrugerombudsmanden, was included in the e-mail. They informed tobacconists that fines of thousands of euros are in place for those that didn’t cease sale.

Royal Danish Cigars is officially trademarked. But the Danish trademark agency informed Vistisen that his trademark won’t be renewed on behalf of the Royal Danish Family. When the Danish national Vistisen started the brand, he chose this name because of the long love story between the Danish royals and tobacco. According to the e-mail sent to the retailers, only the Royal Danish Family can use the Royal Danish name. Even though 36 other companies use that name as well.

Royal Danish Cigars tried to contact the Forbrugerombudsmanden who refused to answer. A legally imported and trademarked product is taken off the shelves in order of the Danish Royals. They didn’t come for the trademark. They never contacted Royal Danish Cigars to discuss a name change. Instead, they went after the sales of the cigars. That’s not how things should work in a democracy. Vistisen wrote to us ‘My obligation as a producer is to protect my distributors and shops. Otherwise, Royal Danish Cigars and any other new brand will be dead.’ Under Danish law, peasants can’t sue royalty, so a legal battle is no option.

Tobacco and the Danish crown

The love affair between the Danish royals and tobacco started in 1665 when King Frederik III granted permission to spin tobacco on Danish soil. Because importing tobacco was expensive, the Danish started to grow and cultivate tobacco within the borders of the Scandinavian country. In the late 1700s, the Danish royal crown even demanded that all the Danish tobacco spinners would operate tobacco plantations as well. The result was that Copenhagen was surrounded by tobacco plantations.

It was King Frederik VI who allowed a tobacco spinner to start rolling cigars. Napoleon Bonaparte introduced cigar smoking to the northern part of Europe and it became extremely popular. King Christian IX of Denmark was enthusiastic cigar aficionado and on request from the Royal Danish Court, a cigar was named after his majesty. The King was sending boxes of cigars with his private label to family members and dignities including his grandson, Zar Nicholas II of Russia. Royal Danish Cigars were therefore smoked around the world after Christian IX was crowned in 1863.

The love story continues, as Queen Margrethe II smokes cigarettes, even during television appearances. But even though the love for tobacco is strong, they want to distance themselves from it. It’s guessing why, but the most probable reason is the bad name tobacco has due to cigarettes. And just like in all tobacco legislation, cigars are the innocent bystanders getting shot down. 

New name and logo

On Facebook, Vistisen wrote that he’s working on a new trademark, a new name, and a new logo. The new name will be released in April of this year. The current stock will still be sold outside of Denmark, although production already stopped three months ago.

It is not the first time that Vistisen has to rebrand one of his companies. His blend of rum and cognac was named Rumnac. That name was EU trademarked as well. But the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac did not like that name and filed a lawsuit. Vistisen had to rebrand and came back with Arruco. The Arruco VSOP is the same as the old Rumnac blend. The Arruco XO is a new blend with Armagnac, Rum, and Cognac. The Royal Danish Christmas cigar was reviewed late last year on here.

2 thoughts on “Royal Danish Cigars forced to change its name

  1. Jan Vistisen IS A RACIST

    1. can you show us the racist comments of Jan?

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