Blog: How not to interview the Bacardi family
Andy Morton | 16 July 2012
Bats in the belfry
As a journalist, we're charged with asking the difficult questions. Unfortunately, it's very easy to ask the wrong ones.
Late last week, I was at the Savoy in London for the unveiling of Bacardi's 150th anniversary blend. It costs just shy of US$2,000 a bottle and, because the Bacardi family took a personal hand in its blending, some of them were there for the occasion. Which is how I managed to fall into conversation with family patriach Toten Comas Bacardi about the company's long-running court battle with Pernod Ricard over the Havana Club name. (For a crib sheet on the long, but often fascinating, affair, click here.)
Toten was immensely happy that Bacardi can lay claim to sole rights of the trademark in the US and can go ahead with expansion plans that could see Bacardi's version roll out beyond Florida.
For some reason, I decided to follow this line of questioning up by asking him if he thought there was a marked difference between Bacardi's Havana Club and Pernod's. "Ha!" exclaimed Toten. "Night and day, night and day." And with a polite laugh he left me to it, impromtu interview over.
Journalists are taught that they have to ask the stupid questions. But sometimes stupid questions are just that. Stupid questions.
Heavy metal legend Bruce Dickinson - lead singer of the band Iron Maiden, for the unitiated - is clearly a man not afraid to get his hands dirty. ...
The homebrewing revival continues in the UK - and evidence has come that even the supermarket chains are taking it semi-seriously. ...
Does Pernod Ricard have something to hide? In a press conference after the release of full-year results today, only a quarter of the 100 minutes were given over to questions from journalists....
Here's a round-up of the top stories on just-drinks last week, featuring Carlsberg, Heineken, Coca-Cola Amatil, California's winelands and Cognac....
- The End of the Road for International Beer Brands?
- Comment - Another One Bites Bacardi's Dust
- Allegro: The shape of things to come at Pernod?
- Pernod Ricard's FY Performance by Region, Brand
- US craft vodka puts squeeze on Pernod's Absolut
- Mast-Jägermeister targets UK off-trade boost
- Pernod bemoans tough FY as sales, profits drop
- ASA bans Jägermeister TV ad
- Bacardi announces CFO switch
- SABMiller exec to become CFO at Beam Suntory