Wines of Argentina to raise UK profile

Wines of Argentina (WoA) has hired Focus PR to reinvigorate the country’s wine-making reputation WoA, which represents 70 wineries that account for about 95 per cent of the country’s wine exports, was without an agency last year after Westbury Communications picked up the account for Wines of Spain.

Argentina is the 12th-biggest wine producer in the UK market by volume, but WoA marketing manager Bernardo Hoffmann said it had underperformed without PR support.

‘We suffered a flat year in 2004 compared with 2003, and maybe that was because we had been silent, so we knew that we had to come back strongly in the UK.

‘We are going to be seen in lots of places in 2005,’ Hoffmann added.

Although budgets will not be confirmed until February, Hoffmann said WoA is likely to have a similar amount to spend in the UK as it did in 2003 when Westbury handled an account worth £250,000.

Hoffmann said Focus will restart its press-trip programme with plans to bring up to 15 consumer and trade journalists to Argentina to visit its different regions in 2005.

Wine-tasting events will also be stepped up with retailers, media and consumers to combat a lack of awareness of Argentinean wines.

PR activity is to feature a mix of consumer and trade media relations as it seeks to build the number of retailers stocking Argentinean wines. Focus account director Lucila Zambrano will manage the account.

Focus won a pitch against QBO Bell Pottinger, Eviva Communications and Euro Strategies.

In a separate move, Hunt & Coady has been hired to handle Wines of Argentina’s annual trade and press wine-tasting event in September.

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