On the Grapevine

On the latest news from the world of wine.

Women and iPhone users are target markets


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Diageo Plc is ramping up marketing to US  iPhone users and middle-aged American women as it seeks to restore sales growth and pricing power in the world’s most profitable spirits market.

The Absolut and Smirnoff maker is “stepping up activity pretty significantly” in 2010 after 18 months of reduced advertising and discounting, said Larry Schwartz, president of Diageo’s U.S. unit recently.
The amount of liquor sold by the company in North America fell 4 percent in the six months through December, while sales declined 6 percent as Diageo discounted more products and consumers bought cheaper varieties of its brands. The distiller generates about 40 percent of earnings in the US, where it reduced its marketing spending by 9 percent last year as total liquor sales in the market stagnated at $18.7 billion.