The beverage business blog from Olly Wehring
If you would like to offer your comments, opinions, suggest topics or just have a good rant, please feel free to email: Olly Wehring.
Naughty Ads - A Breach of the First Amendment?
30 Jun 2010 13:27
I received an email late yesterday (29 June) from a company called Star Industries in the US. Star, which is headed up by a chap called Martin Silver, is the owner of, amongst other drinks brands, Georgi Vodka.
Silver made a speech yesterday outside the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) New York City bus depot, protesting at the MTA's decision to pull two adverts for Georgi Vodka from its buses.
Apparently, the ads were removed “in response to numerous complaints filed by religious groups”, Silver said, countering: “This is a blatant violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The First Amendment grants freedom of speech to individuals and companies with the exception of pornographic materials.
“Take a look at the ads that have come under attack,” he continued. “Both women are clothed. No inappropriate body parts are shown, and in the case of the African American woman, she is cradling her knees so her chest is completely covered. These ads are clearly not pornography.
“Running these ads is our Constitutional right,” Silver concluded. “We must fight back against this obvious breach of the First Amendment.”
Well, here are the 'offending' adverts – whose side are you on?
Coca-Cola to the (Football) Rescue
24 Jun 2010 17:08
All the talk in the UK yesterday (23 June) morning revolved around how people were going to get to watch England's crunch World Cup match against Slovenia in the afternoon.
A vital 90 minutes of football taking place during the working day – how on earth could one wangle this?
Thanks, then, must go to Coca-Cola GB for inviting me to watch the game with them at the South African High Commission in London.
It's still work, thank you very much.
This is the Day
23 Jun 2010 11:44
Today, Wednesday 23 June, looks like being the biggest day for our industry around the world in recent times.
Meanwhile, in South Africa, the World Cup has thrown up four vital matches involving the national teams of Australia, the US, Germany and England. Consumption opportunities abound, as football fans look to cheer on their boys, then celebrate or commiserate where appropriate.
Granted, in the US, the timing of the games encourages breakfast beverage manufacturers, but a drink's a drink for the sake of this missive.
Finally, here in the UK, the daddy of the country's music festivals - Glastonbury - opened its gates this morning. Around 175,000 fans are set to attend the four-day outdoor festival – one of the world's largest – in the south-west of the country this weekend. The overwhelming majority of them will have decanted their drinks of choice into plastic bottles and wheel-barrowed them on to the site. The rest will rely on the multitude of bars and cider buses on site for their quaffing needs.
So, allow us here at just-drinks to wish you all a successful day – in years to come, maybe we'll all look back at 23 June 2010 and say: “I was there.”
What price premium II?
22 Jun 2010 17:32
You may remember, earlier this year, I asked Diageo's chief marketing officer for his company's definition of the term 'premium'.
In what I've unconsciously decided to turn into a riff, I asked the same question of Mathew Bird, head of marketing for wine at Pernod Ricard UK, last night.
Sipping on my absinthe-infused cocktail, I looked deep into Mat's eyes: “What's Pernod's definition of 'premium', then?” I sighed.
Well, according to Mat, in the UK wine industry, Pernod sets the premium level at GBP6 (US$11.90) to GBP8 per bottle.
Another one of these, as and when.
Mmmm... Donuts... Apple Pie... Cookies...
28 May 2010 09:58
If you're about to have your elevenses, then enjoy your snackette while perusing this - a list of the '20 Worst Drinks in America'.
The list highlights the country’s most calorie-and sugar-laden drinks in the US today, ranging from flavoured waters and juice imposters to beers and margaritas.
While I'm sure the images are meant to prompt disgust, they're only making me hungry. But that's probably because I'm an hour away from both breakfast and elevenses.
Heineken Settles Down for the Best Day of Sport Ever
21 May 2010 13:14
It's Friday afternoon, and the weekend has almost landed.
I'll wager, however, that one drinks company is looking forward to this weekend a touch more than the rest of us.
Heineken is gearing itself up for an advertising perfect storm scenario tomorrow (22 May). For the first time, the finals of Europe's elite rugby and club football tournaments reach their respective climaxes on the same day.
The European evening of sporting green kicks off in Paris at 1800, when the two French teams of Biarritz and Toulouse fight it out for the rugby union Heineken Cup. Then, less than three hours later, the spotlight switches to Madrid where Bayern Munich take on Inter Milan for the football Champions League, of which Heineken is a major sponsor.
Days like this really must be a marketer's wet dream.
Shame the flight between Paris and Madrid cancels out attending one of the games, huh.
LIWF & Distil – All the Fun of the Fair – Day Three
20 May 2010 16:13
We're into the home straight here in London, with this year's wine fair set to close its doors within the next hour. The final day is traditionally the quieter of the three, and this year has been no exception.
But what of Tuesday and Wednesday? Well, the numbers look a bit like this:
Tuesday: 6,367 visitors, an increase of ten (that's ten visitors, not 10%!) on last year.
Wednesday: 4,445 visitors, down a little on the 4,704 of 2009.
Visitor numbers, therefore, have been pretty flat thus far, down by only 0.2%.
That's the quantity, but what of the quality? Only time will tell, and we'll get back to you on that one when the dust has settled.
LIWF & Distil – All the Fun of the Fair – Day Two
19 May 2010 12:21
We're into the business end - day two of the London International Wine Fair is in full swing. Yesterday saw the usual grizzling here at ExCel: Getting here's a nightmare; Food and drink is extortionate; The queue for the cloakroom is outrageous; The spirits section is shrinking.
What is forgotten every year is that, these grizzles are pretty immoveable.
They're here every year and they're part of the experience. And they always, ALWAYS disappear by the second day. As usual, the vibe in the hall is positive and business-like.
LIWF & Distil 2010 - All the Fun of the Fair
18 May 2010 12:37
I'm still chuckling over a comment from our very good friend Chris Carson, the former chairman of Constellation Europe and current CEO of Italian wine cooperative, Gruppo Italiano Vini.
He seems to be enjoying his new position, which he assumed two years ago, and isn't missing his Constellation days too much.
“When you're running a company the size of Constellation,” he says, “it's difficult to find time to put your foot on the ball, take a look around and see where to ... lay it off.”
Concha y Toro and Manchester United's wine aficionado
18 May 2010 11:29
You may have seen today (18 May) that Concha y Toro is to become the official wine of Manchester United football club later this year.
The Red Devil's manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, is known to be quite a wine buff, regularly sharing a post-match bottle with his opposing managers in his office.
“I'm delighted to be working with Concha y Toro,” he said today. “Like United, it's a company with a lot of history that, while never afraid to change, has always kept hold of its roots. This is a partnership that unites the two great passions in Latin America: football and wine. I'm looking forward to it.”
What other managers might say if Ferguson produces a bottle of Concha y Toro after the match, unfortunately, was not reported.