Danish smoothie company Froosh has released a drink which supposedly has “more immunity than Berlusconi” - a quip at the billionaire’s ability to survive numerous criminal proceedings. Berlusconi’s first definitive conviction came in August when he was found guilty of tax fraud - a crime that might see him kicked out of parliament for the first time in 20 years.
The orange and mango smoothie was released in Scandinavia last week and photos of the label were soon circulated on social media.
“Even marketing is mocking Italy, where ridiculousness never ends,” said one Twitter user, while other comments ranged from “I love DK” to “shame”.
Brendan Harris, managing director of Froosh, told The Local the label was intended to be “light-hearted” rather than a political statement.
“It wasn’t meant to be a criticism of Berlusconi; it’s about the long-running saga over whether the former prime minister should have immunity,” Harris said.
“Berlusconi is famous all over Europe. The principle reason for the label wasn’t because of Berlusconi, but because at this time of year we’re always taking about the need to get more vitamins and so tend to talk about immunity on the labels. I thought it was cheeky and funny,” he told The Local.
Since the smoothie went on sale Harris said the company has received dozens of requests from Italian cafe owners and wholesalers requesting to order Froosh products. “Seems our 'more immunity than berlusconi' label made us italy's fav smoothie in 1 day,” the company tweeted yesterday.
seems our "more immunity than berlusconi" label made us italy's fav smoothie in 1 day. without us even selling there.— froosh smoothies (@FrooshSmoothies) November 25, 2013
The fruity news coincided with rumours that Berlusconi could be offered an escape plan by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who met with the former prime minister for dinner on Monday night. But Berlusconi hotly denied that he would flee Italy or take up a diplomatic post with the Russian government if ousted from parliament on Wednesday.
“My appointment as a Russian ambassador is a possibility I have never considered,” Berlusconi said in a tweet.
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#Berlusconi: una mia nomina ad Ambasciatore russo è una possibilità che non ho mai considerato— Berlusconi2013 (@berlusconi2013) November 25, 2013
After being denied a pardon by President Giorgio Napolitano, Berlusconi on Monday requested a review of his tax fraud trial and said he had new evidence which "completely undermines the basis" of the case.