Bulgarian vineyard picks M&C Saatchi to revitalise image

Bulgaria’s winemakers, long regarded as plonk producers by UK drinkers, have appointed M&C Saatchi to give them an image makeover.

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

budget.



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

pitch.



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.’



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