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BP exec making business in US 'harder' for Brit brands

25 June 2010

William Chase, the founder of Tyrrells Crisps and Chase Vodka, blasted the embattled BP chief executive Tony Hayward for taking part in the 'Round the Isle of Wight' yacht race

"He's far too smug. He's made PR mistake after mistake and the result is that business is five times more difficult in the US than it should be for British brands," said Mr Chase, whose Chase Vodka was voted the best vodka in the world at the 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

"He's an ambassador for the BP brand and my view on the oil-spill crisis is that he should be honest. People know when you're lying and he should talk as if he means what he says."

"Winning in San Francisco has really helped to build up the Chase brand's profile, which is vital. Americans love an English brand, but Hayward's antics have made things far more difficult," said Mr Chase.

"Obviously, he has to take time away from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill but to take part in a high profile yacht race is totally inappropriate."

Chase Vodka is made exclusively from potatoes grown on Mr Chase's Herefordshire farm. Other vodka distillers, including the Russian and Polish giants, use wheat and rye grain as the base for their spirit.

"The reason other people stopped making vodka out of potatoes is because you need so many spuds. The first time we made vodka we had an artic-load of spuds and there was only a few litres," he said.

"You can get a bit more of a yield out of wheat but with the potatoes it has a natural sweetness to the product and the consistency of a fine wine."


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