The WIRSPA marque

The WIRSPA marque

The West Indies Rum & Spirits Producers Association (WIRSPA) is to spend EUR5m (US$6.7m) on a fresh campaign backing the trade body's provenance marque across Europe.

The campaign builds on a 2008 push, with more countries in the association's sights, WIRSPA said at a briefing last night (13 June). A team of “spirits professionals” have been hired to raise awareness of the marque, that guarantees confirmation to WIRSPA rules.

WIRSPA CEO Vaugn Renwick told just-drinks that the provenance rules are stronger than previously and that West Indian rum is now better placed to crack new markets.

“The general perception is that there are no rules in rum,” WIRSPA CEO Vaugn Renwick told just-drinks. “But I believe that there are very strong rules and with this campaign we are more focussed on getting that message out.”

The EU is funding the new campaign under the same agreement that funnelled about EUR70m into the development of West Indian rum between 2002 and 2010.

Neil Morris, WIRSPA's head of marketing, highlighted West Indian's producers' lack of financial firepower on the global spirits scale, saying that Diageo and Pernod's marketing budgets are both equal to the region's 8th biggest GDP by country.

Sixteen companies from 16 countries have signed up to use the marque compared to five in the past campaign. The campaign will also focus on more countries than before, when UK, Spain and Italy were targetted, WIRSPA said.

Appleton rum, which was taken over by Grupo Campari through its Lascelles deMercado & Co acquisition, is included in the campaign.