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Signposts on the Road to Ruination Part 234 and 235

On a daily basis the wine world has its own bizarre but true “news of the weird.”  It could be another celebrity wine, another wine-related health benefit, or more madcap antics from the French.  What we don’t always get however are clear signals that society is careening off the tracks. Without further ado, I present to you two examples of society lurching perilously close to the cliff’s edge.

Wine Flavored Swisher Sweet Cigarillos

Rumor has it that Winston Churchill used to dip his cigars in port.  Somehow, I’m guessing that modern day dignitaries aren’t buying up the already flavored Swisher Sweets, though.  The only people I know smoking them are wayward Jr. High kids and people that think Purple Haze is something you put in a bong and not on the stereo.


I fancy myself a culturally literate guy even though my frame of reference for these sorts of things ended at the keg in college, and I’m guessing that a Brand Manager at Swisher International determined that women who smoke blunts need a wine flavored cigarillo ... no word on whether James Suckling has bridged his dual passions and reviewed the smoke ...

Psychological Warfare in the HR 5034 Campaign

A couple of months ago, the advertising community had a “great idea” smack to the forehead moment when an enterprising creative talent named Alec Brownstein bought Google adwords next to the names of five Creative Directors at advertising agencies he wanted to work for.

When the Creative Director Googled their name there was a Google ad that said, “Googling yourself is a lot of fun.  Hiring me is a lot of fun, too.”  The ad linked to Brownstein’s portfolio site.  From the five ads, Brownstein had interviews with four of his targets and earned two job offers.  He now works for Young & Rubicam, one of the largest agencies on Madison Avenue.

Clever idea, right? 

It’s so clever that it has been copied. 

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a change in leadership at WineAmerica.  At the time, what I alluded to, but didn’t explicitly state is that WineAmerica was getting seriously outworked by Tom Wark, author of Fermentation, wine Public Relations pro and the Executive Director of the Specialty Wine Retailers Association.  In the fight against HR 5034 Tom has been a one-man wrecking crew.  And, when the dust settles and the HR 5034 story ends happily (hopefully) every wine lover in the country can thank Tom for acting as the pivot in fomenting consumer awareness and coalescing industry wide support.

A guy like Tom, who already wakes each morning with intentions of fighting the good fight for wine shipping, has risen to the occasion in regards to creating awareness around HR 5034. 

Other people have noticed, as well.

Without further comment, I’ll direct you to Google in order to do a search for “Tom Wark” and see the Google Adwords that our friends from the National Beer Wholesalers Association have purchased.

if you feel particularly mischievous go ahead and click on the link and charge the NBWA a nickel for the ad placement.

Keep at it Tom.  Like a cornerback jamming a wide receiver at the line scrimmage, you’re in their head!



Posted in, Good Grape Daily: Pomace & Lees. Permalink | Comments (5) |


On 08/11, Mart S. - Grotto Cellars wrote:

Very intriguing and ingenuity at its finest! smile Cheers!

On 08/11, Artur wrote:

“if you feel particularly mischievous go ahead and click on the link and charge the NBWA a nickel for the ad placement.”

-I’m working on making that nickel turn into $100

On 08/11, 1WineDude wrote:

Ha!  Love the fact that the psychological warfare has gone to Google!  I guess we can’t be sure who did the Google Adword buying, but I for one will certainly pretend it was distributors psyched out by Tom, because it’s way cooler than any alternatives that I can think up! smile

BTW, I got ads for Viagra when I Googled Jeff Lefevere. Just sayin’...

On 08/11, Lisa Mattson wrote:

I googled Tom Wark. That is crazy! When I heard about Alec’s savvy job tactic, I pondered ideas of how to use this for publicity. Buy ad words for wine weekend recommendations for Stephen Colbert? Ryan Seacrest? I didn’t act.

Crazy what HR.5034 is doing.

The Journey of Jordan: a wine and food video blog

On 08/13, Kimberly wrote:

Wine-flavored swisher sweets?  Eeeww!!

Earlier this week one of my friends sent me a link to an online promotion for “wine massages” in Italy.  I am not making that up.
I was too afraid to click on the link to see what it was all about, but sounds fascinating, in a train-wreck kind of way.


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