Bulgaria’s winemakers, long regarded as plonk producers by UK
drinkers, have appointed M&C Saatchi to give them an image makeover.
The assignment comes from Domaine Boyar, the country’s first privately
owned wine company, which says it will put a #2 million annual spend
behind its bid to take on the British wine market.
The appointment is expected to lead to a TV push by the middle of next
year; the start of a campaign to give Bulgarian wines a consistent
quality image. The biggest spender in the UK market at the moment is the
Californian producer, E&J Gallo, which has a #1.3 million advertising
Moray MacLennan, the M&C Saatchi joint chief executive, said: ’This
won’t just be a burst but a brand-building exercise.’ The initiative
follows improvements to wine production facilities in Bulgaria, which
have been hampered by under-investment and institutionalised corruption
in the wake of Communism’s collapse.
Media planning and buying will continue to be handled by RCL
Communications, which helped co-ordinate the three-way creative
Bulgaria’s appeal to UK wine drinkers has faded substantially since the
late 80s, when it began to lose ground to invaders from the US,
Australia, South Africa, Chile, Spain and Hungary. Domaine Boyar
accounts for 3.5 per cent of UK wine sales.
The company is fighting back with a New World-style range of red and
white wines which will sell at between #4.99 and #6.99.
’About 35 per cent of UK wine drinkers buy within that range,’ MacLennan
explained. ’We’ll be targeting people who like discovering new wines but
aren’t necessarily wine buffs.’