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News Briefs for January 17, 2023

January 17, 2023

•Sazerac is suing Republic National Distributing Co. (RNDC) for close to $40 million alleging non-payment of inventory. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Kentucky, comes following Sazerac’s recent move to shift its distribution away from RNDC in a host of markets effective February 1. According to Sazerac, RNDC stopped payment on the supplier’s product for which invoices came due earlier this month, with the amount totaling the roughly $40 million demanded in the suit. Sazerac also alleges that following its move to depart RNDC across the country, the distributor hiked prices on its products and canceled planned promotions and discounts.

•Diageo has announced “Born to Cocktail,” a new campaign for Ketel One, set to kick off this week. The campaign was developed with advertising and creative agency Alto and directed by Daniel Wolfe and features 15- and 30-second clips. The ads show a diverse array of drinkers in settings ranging from a bar to a boat to lavish party ordering a variety of drinks with Ketel One, including classics like the Bloody Mary and Vodka Soda, as well as modern trendsetters like the Espresso Martini. Ketel One’s “Born to Cocktail” campaign will run on streaming and television channels including Hulu, Paramount+, CBS, and ABC, among others.

•Vintage Wine Estates has named Zach Long as the company’s new COO. Long is an internal promotion, previously serving as Vintage’s senior vice president of winemaking and production. In his new role, Long will take charge of Vintage’s 14 estate wineries and two production facilities. He has decades of industry experience and joined the Vintage team when the company acquired Kunde in 2021. In addition to naming a new COO, Vintage has promoted Jenna Duran to vice president of marketing. Previously, Duran was Vintage’s senior director of marketing. She has been with Vintage since 2013.

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