Martell Cognac has teamed up with The Guardian to launch the publication's first commercial blog this month. The initiative, complemented by a national press campaign, lasts until 8 January and is designed to communicate a premium and modern image of the Martell brand by engaging the Guardian's readers through interactive conversation topics.

The campaign, entitled 'Let the Conversation Flow', encourages Guardian users to debate topical issues via a web blog. A short piece, written by a Guardian features editor, is published online inviting users to email their comments. Three topics have been chosen, the first on modern art based on the recent Turner Prize, the second, launched yesterday (14 December) to tie in with Christmas, is 'High Street or Online Shopping' and the final one 'Book or Film' launches on 26 December.

"Working with an online media partner was a natural next step for Martell," said John Grieveson, marketing director at Pernod Ricard UK. "By setting up a 'conversational' blog site, we've been able to offer our consumers the perfect outlet for their conversational discussion and debate and are very excited to be the first Cognac brand to enter into this type of online partnership."

The Martell microsite, located at, also associates Cognac with a dinner party setting, allowing users to access tips on how to host a dinner party, how to serve Cognac and a competition to win an exclusive bottle of Martell's new XO.