Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for December 7, 2012

December 7, 2012

•The Absolut Co. has chosen Montreal-based ad agency Sid Lee to create the next global campaign for Absolut vodka. The campaign, slated to start appearing next summer, will include traditional ads, digital, experiential, social media and branded entertainment. Absolut hired Sid Lee largely to increase its reach and appeal to Millenial consumers. Absolut has previously been working with two agencies to create Absolut’s campaigns—TBWA Worldwide (part of the Omnicom Group), which specializes in traditional forms of advertising such as television and print, and GreatWorks, which specializes in digital advertising. Both agencies will continue to work with Absolut.

•Beefeater 24 gin has launched an online music and picture-sharing platform, Beefeater Studio24. Created in partnership with global music discovery service Last.fm, Beefeater Studio24 lets users match their favorite songs with their Instagram photos to create personalized record covers. The images will be posted to the Studio24 homepage and can be shared through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The brand has also partnered with New York photographer Sion Fullana to build interest and drive traffic to the site. Pernod Ricard’s Beefeater brand has been stagnant in the U.S., seeing volume stay flat at 510,000 nine-liter cases last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Champagne Louis Roederer has sold Bordeaux’s Château Bernadotte to Hong Kong-based drinks firm King Power Group for an undisclosed sum. La Bernadotte has 100 acres of vineyards in Haut-Medoc, producing about 17,000 cases a year. It joined Roederer’s portfolio when the Champagne house acquired a majority share in Château Pichon Longueville Lalande in 2006. Frédéric Rouzaud, chairman of the Champagne group, told Wine Spectator that with the sale of Bernadotte, Roederer will put more focus on Château Pichon Lalande, Château de Pez and Château Haut-Beauséjour. The sale marks the second Bordeaux estate Roederer has sold in the last year, after a group of investors led by Yannick Evenou, managing director of Château La Dominique, bought Château Réaut La Gravière.

•Drinks Americas Holdings, Ltd. has signed an exclusive sales agreement with Mexico’s Marigold Brewing Company to launch Marigold’s craft beer line in the U.S. The Marigold beer line will be brewed under the name “Day of the Dead Craft Beer” and will offer six styles: Blonde Ale, Heifeweizen, Amber Ale, Pale Ale, IPA and Porter. Drinks Americas said it has secured national distribution for Marigold. The Marigold line will join Drinks Americas’ other beer offerings, including Mexicali, Rio Bravo, Chili Devil, Crazy Pig Ale and Rheingold.

•Philadelphia-based restaurateur Stephen Starr is opening a second location of his Philadelphia Mexican concept El Vez in New York City’s Financial District in late 2013. The new Battery Park City El Vez will have the same Tijuana-inspired menu as the original restaurant but will be slightly bigger at 200 seats. This will mark Starr’s fourth dining concept in New York City. He also owns more than 20 restaurants in Philadelphia and several in New Jersey and Florida.

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