Chilean wine producers seek ad network for consistent global image

Chile's wine producers have chosen four global networks to contest the task of boosting global sales and burying their long-standing reputation for making plonk.

FCB, BBDO, Young & Rubicam and TBWA will present creative ideas and strategic proposals at a pitch in Santiago, the Chilean capital, next month.

The move marks the first concerted effort to bring global consistency to the image of Chilean wine and to end the current fragmented and ad hoc approach to advertising.

Much of the new marketing assault by Wines of Chile will be directed towards the UK, where sales outstrip any other country in Europe. The US is the only country in the world that consumes more Chilean wine than Britain.

"Chile has a reputation for exporting its cheapest labels into the UK, but that's not the way the market is going," an industry source said.

"It needs to have products in the £6 to £12 range, which is what increasing numbers of people are drinking. Until now, it has simply exported what it produced without a clear strategy. It has never managed to segment the market in the way the Australians have."

Chilean producers have been spurred into action partly by the economic crisis in neighbouring Argentina, which is exporting wines at a low price.

They also fear increased competition from Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria following their incorporation into the European Union, and are worried that they have not been able to match the joint effort by Australia's wineries, grape producers and the Australian government to boost wine sales internationally.

The initiative, which is being led by Ricardo Letelier, a former Coca-Cola senior marketer, will result in the reopening of the Wines of Chile office in London, which closed 18 months ago.

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