UK: Wine Australia ready to change tack
Wine Australia seeks compromise with Treasury Wine Estates, Australian Vintage
Wine Australia is preparing to adapt its marketing strategy in the UK following pressure from leading producers, including Fosters' Group's Treasury Wine Estates and Australian Vintage.
The generic body for promoting Australian wine is working on a new strategy in the country, in order to quell concern that its current tactics do not represent big brands strongly enough.
Last week, Fosters' Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) confirmed that it has suspended funding for Wine Australia's UK division. It complained that the trade body's 'A+' campaign is too focused on high-end, small-volume wines.
Wine Australia's recently-appointed UK director, Yvonne May, told just-drinks that a new marketing strategy to run concurrently with 'A+' will be discussed when she visits Australia within the next few weeks. She declined to give more details at this stage.
The CEO of Australian Vintage, Neil McGuigan, told just-drinks: "Australian Vintage is supportive of Wine Australia, however, has asked Wine Australia to develop a promotional programme in the UK that is balanced and better represents the 'whole' of the Australian Wine Industry."
He said Wine Australia is due to present a plan to all the major players in early March. "We look forward to a positive outcome," he said.
A strong Australian dollar, overproduction and tough economic conditions in key export markets, mainly the UK and US, have dogged Australian wine in the last couple of years. However, Australian Vintage said today (7 February) that trading is improving, despite a fall in half-year sales and profits.
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