Vodka is soon to take over from Scotch whisky as the most consumed spirit in the UK. But Chris Losh sees its success as a triumph of marketing over substance, and wonders whether consumer interest can be sustained if drinkers, like bartenders, begin looking to spirits with more flavour, product heritage and variety to offer, like gin and rum.
There may be many facets to a winning marketing mix, but a strong brand name that captures the consumer’s imagination is clearly fundamental. Patience Gould looks at some notable hits and misses to get to the bottom of what defines successful branding.
In a bid to raise its profile with younger urban drinkers, the UK vodka brand Vladivar is looking to assist bands as they seek to make their way in the music business. David Robertson and Ben Cooper report on a marketing initiative which breaks new ground in the already vibrant area of tailored on-premise promotion.
Vivian Imerman's baptism as CEO of the Scotch group Whyte and Mackay has been far from easy. A series of high profile casualties at the top of the company have been followed by news of further redundancies. Bernard Thompson takes stock of the company's position and looks at the options open to the new management.
Whyte & Mackay's Vladivar Flavours
United Spirits has reported strong double-digit rises in sales and profits for the first half of its fiscal year, lifted by both organic growth and the acquisition of Balaji Distilleries.
United Spirits is seeking to expand its business in Asia and Africa on the back of a strong start to its fiscal year.
Whyte & Mackay has poached an executive from Beam Global Spirits & Wine to head up its sales and marketing operations.
Whyte & Mackay has launched a new GBP1m (US$1.7m) advertising campaign for its Vladivar vodka brand in the UK.
United Spirits is contemplating a move into the energy drink sector in an effort to boost vodka sales, according to reports.
Whyte & Mackay has confirmed it will headline sponsor this year’s Earls Court Boat show in London.
United Spirits is mulling an expansion of its vodka offering in its home market, according to reports.
Whyte & Mackay has reduced its losses in its last fiscal year, according to recently-released accounts.
Scotch whisky firm Whyte & Mackay’s group managing director has resigned.
India’s UB Group has finally succeeded in snapping up Whyte & Mackay.
India’s UB Group is close to finally sealing the takeover of UK distiller Whyte & Mackay, just-drinks understands. UB, headed by Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya, has pursued Whyte & Mackay since starting takeover talks in October.
India’s UB Group has embarked on the due diligence of long-time quarry Whyte & Mackay, just-drinks understands.
Vivian Imerman, chairman and chief executive at UK distiller Whyte & Mackay, has quashed reports that he has agreed a deal to sell the company to India’s UB Group. Imerman issued a robust statement after reports over the weekend claimed he had settled on a deal worth GBP550m (US$1.1bn) with UB chairman Vijay Mallya.
Two top directors have reportedly quit UK distiller Whyte & Mackay.
India’s UB Group has refused to confirm reports that it will not raise its bid for Whyte & Mackay ahead of a reported meeting between the two companies to finalise the deal.
India’s UB Group looks to be closing in on the acquisition of UK spirits group Whyte & Mackay after months of negotiations.
Whyte & Mackay has confirmed it is still in talks with UB Group over a possible sale of the company to the Indian drinks titan.
India’s UB Group has said it expects to at least secure a distribution and licencing deal with UK distiller Whyte & Mackay.
Whyte & Mackay has dismissed reports in India that the UK distiller has been sold to UB Group - but admitted that it has received offers for parts of its business.
Whyte & Mackay has taken the UK distribution of two key brands in-house after agreeing to end its contract with Maxxium. The UK distiller said today (1 September) that it would take over the UK distribution of Whyte & Mackay Scotch whisky and Vladivar vodka on 1 March next year.
Whyte & Mackay MD Bob Brannan has revealed the company has received “a number of approaches” from potential suitors as reports in India claim UB Group is eyeing the UK distiller’s brand portfolio.
Whyte & Mackay managing director Bob Brannan has spoken of his confidence in the company’s future after revealing that retail prices of private-label Scotch were rising for the first time in 15 years.
Repackaged vodka brand Vladivar is aiming to communicate its “irreverent and unconventional persona” in a marketing push in the UK market.
Several bidders are in the running for Whyte & Mackay’s Invergordon Distillers business and are conducting due diligence on the site, just-drinks understands.
Whyte and Mackay has said it is open to offers for its Invergordon distillery as it continues to restructure its business.
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