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News Briefs for January 26, 2012

January 26, 2012

Brown-Forman is squarely targeting female consumers with its new vodka brand, Little Black Dress. Currently hitting store shelves around the U.S., Little Black Dress Vodka features a classic edition as well as three flavor extensions—pineapple honey, blueberry pomegranate, and black cherry-vanilla. Each retails for $13.99 a 750-ml. Brown-Forman says the new vodka brand features a smoother taste profile than other vodkas on the market, and provides a series of cocktail recipes that are relatively low in calorie content. Additionally, Little Black Dress is supporting Dress for Success—a non-profit organization that promotes career development for disadvantaged women by providing professional attire—with a series of local and national initiatives. Brown-Forman had fast success with its Little Black Dress wine range after introducing it roughly five years ago. It parted with the brand last year as part of its sale of its Hopland, California wine business to Viña Concha y Toro S.A.

White Rock Distilleries has tapped Washington, D.C.-based ad agency Capitol Media Solutions as its media partner for Pinnacle vodka. Under the partnership, Capitol Media will be responsible for the brand’s media strategy, planning, negotiating and buying. Pinnacle, which had a total media spend of approximately $3.8 million in 2010, is launching its first TV spots this year, as part of a new $7 million ad campaign. Known for its wide range of flavored extensions, Pinnacle ($14 a 750-ml.) nearly doubled its volume last year to 2.7 million cases, according to Impact Databank.

•Dundee, Oregon-based Joe Dobbes Wines has tapped Old Bridge Cellars as its exclusive sales and marketing agent. The Joe Dobbes portfolio includes Dobbes Family Estate, Wine by Joe and Jovino. The winemaker’s annual volume is at more than 125,000 cases. The Old Bridge Cellars portfolio is centered on Australian brands but also includes Greywacke from New Zealand and Poggiotondo from Italy.

•Novato, California-based Winery Exchange, which produces more than 3 million cases of private label wine annually, has named John Philips as vice president of sales. Philips has served on Winery Exchange’s board of advisors since its founding in 1999. After starting his career at E&J Gallo, Phillips led Diageo’s international wine business and was also Foster’s Ltd.’s managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Key Winery Exchange clients include Kroger, Safeway, Sam’s Club and Trader Joe’s.

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