News Briefs for November 23, 2011November 23, 2011
•Champagne Deutz has left Maisons Marques & Domaines USA (MMD)—the marketing unit for Champagne Louis Roederer and Roederer Estate—in exchange for a “regional representation” strategy. In line with the brand’s global protocol, various importers and distributors independent from the Roederer network will now represent the brand in the U.S. Champagne Deutz had previously been with MMD for 13 years. In addition to the representing the Roederer/Rouzaud family properties, MMD currently serves a variety of other properties, including Moueix, Baron de Ladoucette and Schlumberger in France, Pio Cesare and Castiglioni in Italy, Spain’s Count of Creixell and South Africa’s Myburgh.
•Bolstered by demand from the Asian market, leading wine auction houses are reporting strong sales results for 2011, according to Reuters. Christie’s has reported $77.7 million for the year thus far (compared to $70 million for the full year in 2010), and the auction house still has sales in Amsterdam, London and Hong Kong scheduled before the year’s end. Acker Merrall & Condit, which announced recently that it expects to be the first wine auction house to surpass the $100-million-mark in annual revenue, has announced sales growth of 15% over last year. Sotheby’s, meanwhile, is still slightly behind 2010’s performance at just over $82 million, but the group is expected to net as much as $3.4 million in a final London auction. Lastly, London-based auction house Bonhams is expecting to top last year’s $13 million in wine sales, due primarily to the strengthening of top Burgundy prices.
•A recent New York City billboard ad for accessibly-priced Polish vodka brand Wódka has sparked controversy over a message the Anti-Defamation League of New York deems “crude and offensive,” as well as potentially anti-Semitic. The ad, which uses the tagline “Christmas Quality, Hanukkah Pricing,” has since been pulled, the New York Times reports. Created by marketing agency MMG, the campaign was defended by managing partner Brian Gordon, who told media outlets that the ad was not intended to shock or offend. Yesterday, Wódka followed with a public apology via Twitter. Imported in the U.S. by Panache Imports, Wódka ($8.99 a 750-ml.) is known for its history of controversial campaign taglines, including “Hamptons Quality, Newark Pricing” and “Escort Quality, Hooker Pricing.”
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