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Opinion

Wine brand marketing is rubbish. There’s no other way to describe the drivel offered often by the big producers to create their name wine ‘brands’. Their attempts at social media are equally poor. It almost feels like the consumer just gets in the way. But why is this? For a product considered as urbane and sophisticated, wine’s marketing, advertising and social media aren’t a patch on those of its rivals: beer, spirits and cider. It’s a complex market  Many would...

The pub sector is back in the news after MPs passed an amendment which impacts on pub companies who operate tenanted pubs. The move is being seen as the end of the beer tie and of excessive control over landlords. So what is the beer tie and why is it news? The ‘tie’ system refers to the structure of businesses where pub companies buy a pub and then lease it to a tenant landlord who pays rent...

Messaging apps aren’t new, yet OpenGarden’s Firechat app is fast becoming a hot product. Firechat is fundamentally different to apps such as WhatsApp. It’s still a messaging app yet its technology gives it one crucial distinction that has fundamental implications for social networks and the Internet. Firechat is the first app to make use of Apple’s multipeer connectivity framework, which in plain English lets iOS devices talk to each other over small distances without the need for...

The August weather might have been disappointing but Britain’s love of barbecuing showed no sign of abating this summer. A survey of social media mentions has found that BBQ Britain loves its meat with pork, chicken and burgers top of the charts. We used our social monitoring software to track a sample of online conversations of the terms ‘bbq’, ‘barbeque’ and ‘#bbq’ over a 10 week period between June and August 2014. The subject of barbecues is certainly...

Some people say things are bigger and better in America; the food, the buildings, the people! Can the same principle apply to craft beer too? We decided to compare the UK and American craft brewing industries as part of our Beer & Social Media Spotlight series. Let’s start with the numbers. According to the latest stats from the American Brewers Association there are currently a little over 3,000 breweries across the States. To be honest I expected this...

Alcohol regulation is back on the agenda following a proposal from the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for health warning labels to be added to alcoholic drinks. The APPG have called for all alcohol products to be labelled in a similar manner to tobacco. Yet is this really a solution to the health risks of drinking? Will such steps reduce binge drinking and improve health outcomes? Is Current Alcohol Labelling Failing No one denies that there is a...

It’s not the best time to be an executive at any of the big four supermarkets. In July, another set of bad results saw Tesco’s CEO Philip Clarke step down. Sainsbury’s saw its second consecutive quarter of falling sales and the news for Morrisons and Asda is not much better (although Asda at least reported a small growth in sales). The gloom of the big four is in direct contrast to the fortunes of the discount supermarkets...

*Check out our updated analysis based on 2016's list of the Top 100 Alcohol Brands. It’s that time of year again. The Grocer has published its list of the UK’s top 100 alcohol brands. The overall data is positive with 2013’s hot summer helping to drive a healthy 5% growth in value and 3.3% in volume. Yet what else can be gleaned from the stats? We’ve delved into the data to see which categories are growing, who’s hot and...

How important is social media strategy to business leaders? Do enough CEOs and MDs know, or care, how their business is using social media as part of its marketing, research or customer service? Are they looking at how customers are talking about their products or brands online? There’s certainly cynicism from boards as to social’s ability to deliver meaningful ROI. This was reinforced by a FT/ICSA survey that showed that almost half of boards surveyed hadn’t discussed social media in the...

Food and drink brands wishing to target the over 55s should be using smartphones, tablets and the Internet according wine and spirits publisher, Harpers. Their claim follows the publication of the latest Kantar data on the 'digital consumer'. Does the data support this assertion? And what is the implication for brands who invest in social media marketing? Are the over 55s a social audience? We've drilled down into the research and other published data to gauge whether...