Pernod Ricard's chairman has hinted at alternative marketing activity in the UK for Martell, following the brand's decision to withdraw from sponsoring the Grand National.

Speaking to just-drinks yesterday, Patrick Ricard said that, while Martell could leave the horse-racing event with head held high, the brand would now look at pushing the on-trade side of operations going forward.

"We are working on the UK market," Ricard said. "It is a very important market for Martell, but the money we were spending was not best used sponsoring the Grand National."

Ricard emphasised the importance of the on-trade for Martell, saying: "To taste the product before buying a full bottle is, obviously, the best way. So on-trade in the UK is very important for the marketing of Martell."

Although he would not be drawn on specific plans for marketing the cognac in the UK, Ricard said: "(Going forward) we will spend more money on the on-trade than the off-trade in the UK."