← Return to Archives - Subscribe to FREE NewsFetch Email Newsletter
From: lewis.perdue@wineindustryinsight.com

Subject: New Survey Documents "Trading Down," Finds Recession-Weary Consumers Selecting Paso Robles & Sonoma Over Napa

Date: 2009-10-07 22:11:31

To: Emailing List Subscriber
Please use CMD+F (Mac) or CRTL+ F(Windows) to find your specific search term within this issue of NewsFetch. This "double search" is due to our links sourcing from websites not within WineIndustryInsight.

WINE INDUSTRY INSIGHT

EMAIL EDITION - VOLUME I, NUMBER 125 - October 8, 2009

Click this link to unsubscribe to this free email edition.

Sponsored By:

shipcompliant: Real-Time Compliance Software


WII TWEET:

  • This is how so many people see wine: http://tinyurl.com/ycfgbk5. Little wonder why some go for beer and spirits to avoid this association.

IN THIS ISSUE:

  • New Survey Documents "Trading Down," Finds Recession-Weary Consumers Selecting Paso Robles & Sonoma Over Napa

  • FTC’s “Double Standard” Blogger Rule May Not Affect Wine Industry As Severely As Other Sectors



FTC’s “Double Standard” Blogger Rule May Not Affect Wine Industry As Severely As Other Sectors

The Federal Trade Commission’s new guide on disclosure of potential conflicts of interest for bloggers has staked out a position on the increasingly steep slippery slope of journalistic ethics. However, it may not affect the wine industry as severely as others.

DOUBLE-STANDARD GUIDELINE HOLDS BOTH BLOGGERS AND COMPANIES LIABLE

In brief, the new guidelines say that if a company provides a freebie to a blogger, both the company and the blogger are liable for severe fines (potentially as much as $11,000) if proper disclosure is not made. Precisely what form the disclosure should take is still not clearly defined, but should include, at minimum, all financial links and agreements between the blogger and the company and products written about.

The guidelines do not hold traditional media outlets to the same standard.

Tom Wark has done a thorough job of exploring the double standard side of the issue in his post, “This Wine Blog is More Likely To Deceive You“.

WINE — BUT NOT ACCESSORIES, BOOKS ETC — MAY BE OKAY

An interview with Richard Cleland who is with the FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau, has indicated that enforcement standards may vary with regard to whether or not the freebie is not perishable, and thus able to be re-sold by the blogger.

Cleland has drawn a distinction between durable products such as books and electronic devices and those which could not be resold. Reviewers invited to a screening of a movie, or a music concert on the other hand, would not be subject to as much scrutiny.

He said that books or other durable products should be returned when the blogger is finished with them. This, however, raises the issue of wine tasting samples which could be re-sold if unopened, but which certainly have no lasting value once consumed other than to water plants and drive the sale of aspirin if not enough spitting occurs.

Wine tasting at an industry-sponsored event attended by many tasters — bloggers included — would fit Cleland’s interpretation for non-enforcement.

Under Cleland’s interpretation, wine books, corkscrews  and other durable items would need disclosure under the FTC’s guidelines. Free meals, tickets to wine auctions and other events probably would not.

PRODUCT SALE LINKS COMPLICATE THE SITUATION

The situation is further complicated by complimentary blog post links to a site that sells the product being reviewed, if such a sale would result in financial benefits to the blogger — the so-called “affiliate program.”

As Wine Industry Insight pointed out on September 9, the California ABC has already declared verboten any sort of performance-based affiliate system for wine or other alcoholic beverages.

FACEBOOK, TWITTER ALSO SUBJECT TO FTC RULE

Cleland told tech site, CNET, that Twitter and social networks such as Facebook and Myspace are also subject to FTC regulation.

WHAT SORT OF DISCLOSURE IS NECESSARY?

“As a practical matter, we don’t have the resources to look at 500,000 blogs,” Cleland said. “We don’t even have the resources to monitor a thousand blogs. And if somebody reports violations then we might look at individual cases, but in the bigger picture, we think that we have a reason to believe that if bloggers understand the circumstances under which a disclosure should be made, that they’ll be able to make the disclosure. Right now we’re trying to focus on education.”

WHY NO REGULATION OF LEGACY MEDIA?

Cleland’s position on the exemption of legacy media — television, newspapers, magazines — seems to be based on where the compensation comes from.

“We are distinguishing between who receives the compensation and who does the review,” Cleland told book blogger Edward Champion. “In the case where the newspaper receives the book and it allows the reviewer to review it, it’s still the property of the newspaper. Most of the newspapers have very strict rules about that and on what happens to those products.”

However, as legacy media continue to struggle — especially those that rely on dead trees and the U.S. Snail — owners are pushing the editorial writers more and more toward the same covert conflicts of interest the FTC aims to address.

TOTAL DISCLOSURE ALWAYS THE BEST PATH

The quality of journalism — online or legacy — is directly linked to its credibility. The only way to maintain credibility is to avoid a conflict of interest, AND to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Ultimately, unethical practicioners of journalism devalue their product — and their ability to sell advertising and subscriptions.

The total avoidance is best; disclosure is needed when avoidance is impractical — such as the financial impossibility of every wine writer to buy every bottle tasted or reviewed.

HONEST BLOGGERS COULD BE BETTER OFF EMBRACING THE FTC RULE

Blatantly unethical bloggers have certainly given the blogosphere a bad rep. And the honest have been smeared with the same brush.

By embracing the FTC disclosure requirements, honest bloggers can dramatically increase their credibility and the value of their editorial products.

FTC SHOULD LOOK AT LEGACY MEDIA

There are plenty of ethically bent journalists in legacy media. Some take payoffs. Some try to be a journalist while taking consulting fees from those they cover.

Some just plain get too friendly and cozy with the subjects of their coverage.

The FTC can’t do anything about the reporter who has drinks with the politician she covers, or the publications who feel bound to give good coverage in order to attract and maintain advertisers.

However, it can enforce its regulations against publications who write “articles” about local businesses in exchange for a fee. I’ve seen that in both of Sonoma’s newspapers who do not mark such paid content as “paid advertising.”

THIS IS AN OLD, OLD PROBLEM

As a former journalism prof at Cornell and UCLA, the issue of editorial conflicts of interest on the web has concerned me for a very long time.

Back in 1996, I launched a site called webethics.com. No one was interested and I eventually let the domain name lapse.

However, this morning I dug out the home page for that site. (the links have been deactivated since they don’t lead anywhere, anymore.

My colleague J.D. Lasica and I shaped this into a grant proposal for the Pew Charitable Trust. They paid for our trip to go meet them, listened politely and then said they didn’t anticipate this would be an issue for the Web.

That was when I stopped paying for the domain name.



New Survey Documents "Trading Down," Finds Recession-Weary Consumers Selecting Paso Robles & Sonoma Over Napa

Wine Opinions’ new study of wine consumers and members of the U.S. wine trade offers a stunning statistical confirmation of the “trading down” phenomenon and provides a detailed analysis of how badly the recession has battered even the most loyal wine drinkers.

changesinwinepurchasefrequency1

More surprisingly, the survey shows that shifting preferences have pushed napa out of the limelight and made Paso Robles and Sonoma County the recession winners especially among high-end consumers looking for different taste experiences.

The hefty, chart- and graph-laden, 75-page report is available to members of the wine trade on the Wine Opinions web site for $395.

RECESSION HAS BATTERED A MAJORITY OF WINE DRINKERS

While about a third of respondents say they have not experienced much change in their personal financial situation, 55 percent said they were somewhat or a lot worse off. Only 11 percent said they were better off.

SURVEY SAMPLE WEIGHTED AWAY FROM LOW-END RETAILERS

The survey sample was weighted (82%) toward “high-frequency” consumers who drink wine daily or several times per week.

In addition, retail channel preferences indicate a sample pre-disposed toward higher-end wines:

  • 70 percent say they don’t shop at discount or mass merchandisers.
  • 45 percent don’t shop at warehouse or club stores.
  • A third don’t shop for wine at supermarkets.

VIP Subscribers click here to read the complete, un-redacted article.

Also In This Article:

  • THE $20 BARRIER
  • PASO ROBLES, SONOMA WIN, NAPA ALSO RAN
  • THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS

  • Not a VIP subscriber yet?

    Subscribe now, and get the rest of this original article and every other VIP article including the Data Cellar for just $9.99 per month or $115.88 per year. Click here for more details.


NEWS FETCH

October 07, 2009
  • Trek Sues Novato Winery for Use of Name
  • Tough sell for grape growers
  • David Lake, legendary Washington winemaker, passes away
  • Gallo Canada Expands Spirits Portfolio
  • SASSIE INT'L APPOINTS STATESIDE CELLARS U.S. DISTRIBUTOR
  • North Coast Winegrapes on the Market
  • Global grape glut casts large shadow over BC vineyards
  • Pernod Ricard sells label "Almaden" to Miolo winery in Brazil
  • BC and two Ontario wine producers to change bottle labels after complaints
  • Wine Management Systems Takes to the Cloud
  • Big changes ahead for Long Meadow Ranch Winery
  • Big Restaurant Names Could Mean Big Business For WA Wines
  • 2009 Lisbon Wine Bloggers Conference Hosts Wine Tastings
  • Best Swiss weather for viticulture in 20 years
  • October 06, 2009
  • Diageo ends link with Glenn Beck but Tesco stays
  • Order to Chaos: New VinTank Research Analyzes Wine iPhone Apps
  • Maryland Winery's Packaging Stands Out
  • Beer and spirits worse than wine
  • Seaver Family Vineyard is Hall of Famer's passion
  • GaryVee Set To Launch Cinderella Wine Club & Gourmet Library
  • Wine Enthusiast Picks Big House White As 2009 Best Buy
  • CorkSavvy Releases 'White Label' E-Cellar & Wine Journal Widget
  • Informal Test of Wine Shippers
  • The Pour A Place for Wine Without the Lecture
  • Texas has 9 wine trails to follow
  • October 05, 2009
  • Feds sign Memo on Delta, Ask Science Academy for review
  • Walgreens Resumes Wine and Beer Sales
  • Constellation Brands: Recipe for Disaster?
  • Colour and its use could help businesses to boost their bottom
  • Cecchetti Racke Brings "The Bull" to the US
  • Bordeaux Vintners caution against over-extraction
  • Sonoma Winery an unwelcome neighbor
  • Brown-Forman's not open to change
  • Tesco pushes smaller-format wines
  • Vegan wine? Isn't it all vegan?
  • UK Wine Retail Chain closes
  • Sotheby's furthers Hong Kong fine wine clout
  • Hong Kong wine auctions overtake London, New York
  • WI: Squeezed by economy, winery changes course
  • Crushing times ahead for Oregon wineries?
  • Pancho Campo resigns to 'focus on clearing name'
  • Canada: Grape industry problems need fixing
  • Business Succession Planning: Fourth-generation Rafanelli
  • Amorim and SOLE Footwear to “Upcycle” Wine Corks
  • Titus Vineyards Harvest Live, 2009
  • Filippi Winery offers a taste of local history
  • Menage a Trois Named 2009 'Wine Brand of the Year' by Market Watch
  • Mechanical grape harvester a quicker picker
  • Package design elevates Jackson wine bottle
  • Love of Pinot drives winemaker MacPhail
  • Rockin' the vineyards
  • 2009 harvest is shaping up to be memorable
  • Grape stomping in Temecula closes out harvest season
  • Canada: Winemakers to clarify labels on imported products
  • Many Wines Deemed '09's Best Are US-Made
  • October 02, 2009
  • Angels pop money into cork-free wine topper
  • Failed wine-food center Copia for sale
  • 'Name change for Diageo?''
  • WSWA Announces New Dates and Location for 2010 Annual Convention
  • Climate Change May Impact Northwest Winemakers
  • Constellation Brands moves to 2Q profit
  • Canada: Craitor pressing for change to help struggling grape industry
  • Who's the wealthiest man in Sonoma County?
  • Northwest Vintners Eye Refillable Bottles
  • UK: Price pressure forces Wine Cellar to go under
  • NV: A strange year for wine grape harvest
  • WA: Wine and the law of gravity
  • Wine drinkers in favour of lower alcohol levels
  • Penn Liquor Board, Beringer Support Breast Cancer Awareness
  • J. Lohr to Fund 500 Mammograms for Women in Need
  • How would you classify a bottle of wine?

  • ================= CONTACT DATA ====================
    Lewis Perdue
    670 W. Napa St., Suite H, Sonoma, CA 95476
    Phone: 707-326-4503, fax: 707-940-4146
    Email: lewis.perdue@wineindustryinsight.com