By: Olly Wehring
The just-drinks leader, written by the just-drinks leader.
I must be getting soft in my old age, but there are two drinks marketing campaigns that have recently launched, which have resonated particularly well with me. The one thing they have in common is that they both barely feature the product they are promoting – if at all.
SABMiller may have been trying to sneak news of its Brazilian tie-up with Petropolis under the radar, but the news comes on the back of pronouncements by the brewer that it is keen to up its presence in the country. It also comes at a time that SABMiller finds itself in a position where it needs to make an acquisition. And fast.
Pernod Ricard's decision this week to withdraw its support for the geographical indication (GI) 'Plymouth Gin' makes sense to me, but that such a GI exists at all serves only to underline the confusion that still abounds in the gin category.
Diageo's move to take back full control of Don Julio certainly indicates the potential for Tequila. However, it is the company's divestment of Bushmills that speaks even louder, to the future for Irish whiskey.
Back in April, when the Scotch Whisky Association released 2013's export sales figures for the category, many observers expressed disappointment, but not necessarily surprise, at the numbers.
I'm not entirely sure why so many trade press column inches were given over to the latest 'news' from Diageo's new single grain Scotch whisky brand, Haig Club, yesterday. I mean, the launch of the product was initially announced six months ago.
From some of the noises coming out of London yesterday, I am willing to suggest the following: SABMiller is rather annoyed with Heineken. That's probably because, Heineken broke an unwritten rule among the larger companies by going public on its talks with SABMiller.
The book has been closed – for now – on the end of the plc line for Treasury Wine Estates, following yesterday's announcement that it has called time on negotiations with two separate parties on a possible takeover.
Yesterday afternoon, here in London, the UK's Wine and Spirit Trade Association hosted its annual conference. Headlining the show was Sir John Hegarty, co-founder of the Bartle Bogle Hegarty advertising agency and best known for creating the Levi 501 ads and the 'Vorsprung Durch Technik' tagline for Audi.
Heineken's announcement earlier today of an approach by SABMiller confirms what some observers have warned in recent months: The 'Mega-Merger' is most definitely on.
Today's official opening of the new Guinness production facility at the brand's St James's Gate site in the centre of Dublin stands in marked contrast to how the plot's future looked less than ten years ago. It is refreshing to see – for whatever reason - a plc the size of Diageo bowing to a brand's provenance, even if such nods are a rarity these days.
While it was a predictable bit of business, William Grant & Sons' purchase of Drambuie – announced yesterday – still carries a slight element of surprise to it for me.
One of the things I noticed quite early into my career covering drinks was just how many so-called 'industry veterans' there are. One of my regular lines quickly became that people seldom leave our industry, presumably because it's so much fun.
Earlier this month, after Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co and Rhone Capital tabled a joint-bid for Treasury Wine Estates that prompted the wine company to open its books, I posited that the move would not trigger a bidding war.
The struggles go on for Carlsberg who, in its half-year results yesterday, indicated that things in Russia – where it is market leader – look set to get worse before they get better.
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- Petropolis Finally Moving into SABMiller's View?
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- Diageo confirms Australia RTD abv drops
- Pernod launches online Ballantine's "experiment"
- Global vodka sales slip in 2013 - research
- SABMiller returns to Brazil with Petropolis tie-up
- Pernod takes Absolut Warhol push to Travel Retail
- Early Signals: future scenarios that will drive consumption and product innovation over the next five years
- Global Scotch whisky insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Global vodka insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- The IWSR Forecast Report - 2014-2019 Global Review
- The IWSR Global Trends Report 2014