Around the world in 80 press trips
Stuff It

Boozin' Confusion

Sometimes finding the right person to contact to ask questions about a booze brand is harder than it seems. You see who owns it and ask then call them up, right?

Of course not. There is a weird distribution system in this country (and, it seems, in others) that I still don't understand. Sometimes the correct contact is from the distributor. Sometimes it's the owner. Often it's a PR firm working for one or the other.

Recently I tried to find the brand history of Cynar, which is owned by Grupo Campari (Campari, Skyy vodka), but distributed by importing company Premium Imports, which is owned by Heaven Hill (Elijah Craig, Evan Williams). So that took a while.

This week I wanted to fact check a sentence about Amer Picon, which is owned by Diageo. Because PR people move around so much, I have no reliable contacts at Diageo anymore, (note to Diageo: check your email), which makes them really hard to contact in the first place. So I called a contact from their wine division, who was very nice and talked to a spirits person for me, who told him they didn't own the brand. (Note to person: check your website.)

Not true, of course, but this took some extra unraveling and contacts and people. They do own it but it's not distributed in the U.S., and where it is distributed (France, Belgium), it's distributed by Moet Hennessey. So then I could use my contacts at MH to call their contacts in Europe to find that my fact was basically correct.

That was a lot of work to verify a piece of information that's readily available on Wikipedia.

I've found in both cases, the people who own the brand know little about the brand and the distributors, who may be competitive companies to the brand but are selling it, know all about it.
When I get this all figured out (estimation: another year) I'll let you know.


Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.