I picked up a bottle of Old Forester not too long ago that had a folding neck tag. The clearly visible portion of the neck tag read "Old Forester - American Whiskey of the Year ***** Awarded at the 2003 WhiskeyFest New York, hosted by Malt Advocate." If you read the VERY small print under the words "Old Forester," you see "Birthday Bourbon." If you open the tag and read the SLIGHTLY less fine print, you read again that this award was given to OFBB which is vaguely noted to be different than "Old Forester," listed as a "gold medal" winner.
Nevertheless, I would argue that any reasonable person who knew less than a bourbon enthusiast/expert would believe they were buying the American Whiskey of the Year as awarded at WhiskeyFest when they picked up the bottle at the store.
Illegal? I'm sure it is not. I'm sure lawyers triple check that kind of stuff. But it certainly struck me as deceptive marketing, especially since just 5 days ago I bought a bottle of OFBB - THE WINNER - that had a completely different tag with no "American Whiskey of the Year" designation.
I know this business is...well, business. I also like the "regular" expression of OF all right. But to use an award won by OFBB as the centerpiece of the OF neck tag is unethical, don't you think?