From The Spirits Business website 15 June 2015:
Many of our Brand Champions felt the harsh effects of Russian president Vladamir Putin’s minimum unit pricing regime, while Stock Spirits’ Zoladkowa Crysta de Luxe and 1906 in particular bore the brunt of Poland’s introduction of a 15% tax hike in January 2014, both of which delivered double-digit declines.
For international brands on the other hand, the landscape isn’t as bleak as some brown spirits backers may make out. The majority of international brands, particularly the premium and super-premium set, delivered at least very solid single-digit growth figures, among them Svedka (5%) and Grey Goose (3%). Credit must be given to Diageo’s Cîroc for leaping forward with an 18% increase in sales, which the brand attributes largely to the success of its new pineapple flavour, launched in the US in late 2014. Its sister brand and category leader, Smirnoff, didn’t fare as well, with the brand posting 2% decline.
But the ultimate kudos of winning a Brand Champion award goes to Zubrowka, for the second year running. Since being acquired by Roust (formerly known as Russian Standard) in 2013, the brand has positively thrived under its new parent company’s global distribution network, delivering a striking 18% growth last year. But it’s been Zubrowka’s bison grass USP, contemporary branding and premium positioning that, combined, have aided the traditional Polish brand in appealing to an international audience. Over the last five years, Zubrowka has added almost four million cases to its annual sales and risen to the position of fourth largest vodka brand in the world.
The winner of TABLEWRAP CREATIVE OF THE YEAR 2014 is... our work for TIME OUT
Blott Shop number 15 is now open in the Eden Shopping Centre, High Wycombe. Time to stock up on heavenly stationery in time for Christmas.
London, 20.11.14: At the prestigious Campaign Media Awards last night, Time Out was named “Print sales team of the year”, beating off stiff competition from the other finalists ESI Media (The Evening Standard) and The Guardian.
The London sales team have had a fantastic year, increasing revenues by over a third, and gaining market share at the expense of other competing free titles Shortlist, Stylist and Sport. With new business from blue-chip brands like Nike, BA, GSK, Sainsbury’s and Rightmove, allied with award-winning creative solutions, Time Out has provided an unbeatable way of connecting advertisers with our passionate and engaged audience.
In awarding the prize, the judges praised Time Out for the way we’ve reinvigorated an iconic brand, and creating solutions that work effectively for both audience and advertisers.
The first job My Agency did for Time Out was to rewrite and redesign their sales presentations. Great to see it rewarded and well done to the team.
The judging panel included
Jonathan Allan, sales director, Channel 4
Zoe Bale, head of press – Amplifi, Denstu Aegis Network
Vanessa Clifford, deputy chief executive, Newsworks
Simon Redican, chief executive officer, National Readership Survey
Stuart Taylor, chief executive officer, Kinetic
David Wilding, UK planning director, Twitter
Dominic Williams, head of trading, Dentsu Aegis Network
An article in The Grocer about the growth of top 10 drinks brands in The UK reports that Russian Standard Russian has seen a huge 45% growth in both volume and value over the last year. In the article Russian Standard’s billionaire owner Roustam Tariko vows to overtake Diageo as the number-one vodka manufacturer within three years in February. If it carries on its blistering rate of growth, it could just do it.
“Russian Standard has been the standout performer within all of spirits, accounting for 19% of total market growth in the last 12 months and delivering more growth to the market than the whole whisky sector this year,” says Toby Magill, head of beers, wine and spirits at IRI.
Read the whole article here: http://bit.ly/1tlFkgN
We got to spend a fun afternoon with Mr Giles Coren, shooting him for the front cover of this week's Time Out and for digital escalator panels to announce it in London.
Our latest campaign has just launched for Caesars Entertainment to help them reposition and relaunch The Casino at The Empire, one of London's most iconic and successful casino brands. The new theme ‘Come to where the action is’ aims to reconnect the casino to it’s core audience of gamers and put the excitement of gaming back as the number one focus of the casinos entertainment experience.
Time Out plans to launch six online editions of its lifestyle brand to serve people in Manchester, Edinburgh, Leeds, Glasgow, Bristol and Birmingham.
Beginning with the launch of the Manchester site tomorrow, it will be followed by Edinburgh at the end of October, Leeds and Glasgow in November. Bristol and Birmingham will launch in early 2015.
Each new city will have its own local editor who will curate content from local experts. Rob Martin is the editor and digital content producer for Time out Manchester and Time Out Leeds.
Time Out is also launching an extensive blogger network to run on individual city sites. This will cover a number of topics such as food, drink, music, art, style and entertainment.
Combining Time Out’s editorial voice with the insight of local experts, Time Out will review the most interesting and exciting events in the area and tap into the heart of each city’s cultural communities. Unique local content from each city will be joined by national content from the main Time Out London site, including film and music reviews.
The online expansion comes amid a global expansion by the company led by global chief executive, Tim Arthur.
The launch of Time Out Manchester tomorrow follows an unsuccessful attempt to launch a magazine in the city eight years ago. It will be supported by an outdoor and online campaign, created by My Agency, with media planned and bought through Sold Out.
The online media will use a combination of audience and search re-targeting across desktop and mobile, through networks such as Blis Mobile, Radium One and Captify.
Tuesday 22 April 2014
By Christopher Williams , Technology, Media and Telecoms Editor
8:00PM BST 19 Apr 2014
Commercial roll-out of “superfast” fibre-optic broadband to two thirds of
the country is not due to be completed for a couple of months, but
already attention is shifting to the next phase of investment in Britain’s
BSkyB and TalkTalk, two of BT’s biggest broadband rivals in retail but its
top customers in wholesale, announced last week they will club together
to build their own fibre-optic network in York within a year.
Though each company is investing only £5m in York and is keen to
emphasis the experimental nature of the roll-out, it signals a growing
appetite for fibre from broadband providers, consumers and investors.
For Dana Tobak, the co-founder and chief executive of Hyperoptic, a
start-up focused exclusively on fibre-optic broadband, it is a validation of
the £50m bet placed on her company last year by Quantum Strategic
Partners, one of billionaire George Soros’s investment companies.
The funding has helped Hyperoptic to accelerate its plans so that it has
now connected 35,000 homes and businesses, including those built on
the Olympic Park in east London.
“We’re still at the stage, frankly, where we are educating developers.
Some of them get it, some of them don’t yet,” says Tobak.
“They don’t understand the difference between our technology and what
BT is doing. I blame BT a bit for that.”
The difference between the vast majority of BT’s upgraded network and
Hyperoptic is fundamental. The same applies to what BSkyB and
TalkTalk plan to build in York.
All of them use fibre-optic cables to carry data as digital light pulses,
rather than as analogue electrical signals along copper wires.
But whereas Hyperoptic and the York network use fibre optics all the way
into every home and business they connect, for the vast majority BT is
replacing its old copper cables only as far as cabinets on the side of
The final hop remains reliant on an analogue electrical signal, which is
slower and less reliable.
It means that once BT finishes the commercially funded upgrade of its
network at the end of the spring, the fastest broadband packages on offer
from retailers in most places will offer downloads less than a 10th as fast
as a full FTTP (fibre to the premises) network.
It comes down to cost. Research published by Enders Analysis last week
found that the average cost of BT’s upgrade for each of the 19.3m
premises will be £130.
In York, between them, BSkyB and TalkTalk are investing £500 for each
of the 20,000 homes they plan to connect.
If all goes well, the partners aim to repeat the trick in at least two more
smaller cities, where closing roads to dig trenches tends to be more
expensive and there is less fibre-optic capacity already in the ground.
But there is no prospect of BSkyB and TalkTalk building an FTTP
infrastructure to rival the scale of BT: Enders estimates the economics
mean their joint venture could be extended to 11pc of households, and
possibly an extra 4pc if partners could be found in some bigger cities.
Covering 15pc of the country with FTTP would cost BSkyB and TalkTalk
£2.2bn, Enders estimates, not far short of the £2.5bn BT is spending on
installing fibre optics to street-side cabinets for two thirds of premises.
“While the extent of the announced fibre build-out is very modest, it is a
move that strikes at the heart of BT, in much the same way as BT struck
at the heart of Sky in bidding for sports rights,” Enders said.
“The roll-out may be in limited areas, but these are very profitable areas
from BT’s perspective (dense housing makes line maintenance etc
cheaper), and in any case removing revenue from a largely fixed cost
base will be painful.”
BSkyB and TalkTalk’s initial investment in York is, however, also being
seen as a pointed reminder to BT that they believe its wholesale pricing
for the slower national fibre-optic network is too high.
The message is that by cutting its charges and undermining the
economic case for avoiding a wider roll-out of FTTP by its rivals, BT could
avoid a permanent loss of wholesale revenues.
Hyperoptic is playing a different game. It is a genuine long-term bet on
the value of internet infrastructure.
The company does not pay as much per premises as BSkyB and
TalkTalk plan to, because it cherry-picks only new developments and
blocks of at least 80 flats, which are simpler and offer economies of
Having begun in London, Hyperoptic is now installing fibre optics in
Bristol, Cardiff and Reading, and later this year will head north to Leeds,
Liverpool and Manchester.
According to Tobak, Hyperoptic will not need any further outside
investment and is on course to break even once it has wired up half a
BT argues that most people have no use for the one gigabit per second
speeds the technology offers, which mean a full high-definition film is
downloaded in a few seconds.
Having originally said up to a quarter of its upgrade would be FTTP, it
now refuses to reveal how many customers can access the superior
A BT spokesman said: “We’re also deploying fibre to the premises
technology in those areas where it delivers the best solution to the
“However, so far, the greatest demand has been for speeds of up to 40
megabits per second or 80 megabits per second, which gives customers
more than enough bandwidth to meet their needs.
“Both technologies have an important role to play, so we are offering both
to give customers a broad choice of different speeds and at extremely
How long that position will be sustainable is an open question. Increasing
pressure from commercial rivals, improving mobile broadband, start-ups
such as Hyperoptic and Britain’s economic competitors mean BT will at
some point have to invest again in fibre.