Pernod-Ricard went through major organizational changes in the last week: they launched a new brand company called Premium Wine Brands. Under this umbrella brand, consumers will find some of the group’s major wine brands: Australian wines (Jacob’s Creek), New Zealand wines (Montana and Brancott), Spanish and Argentinean wine brands with international potential (Campo Viejo and Graffigna). According to Premium Wine Brands chairman and chief executive, Jean-Christophe Coutures, Pernod-Ricard now has “a complementary portfolio of premium wine brands representing the signature varieties for each country – Australian Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, Malbec from Argentina and Tempranillo from Spain delivered through our leading brands, Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate, Graffigna and Campo Viejo.”
Let’s see how it translates in the facts. Curious to learn more about those wine brands, I googled “Premium Wine Brands Pernod-Ricard” and was sent to Pernod-Ricard-Pacific.com”. A little puzzling but I saw weirder things happening on the Internet! The homepage carries clearly the “Premium Wine Brands” title. I patiently entered my country of origin (France) and a birth date allowing me to have access to the site. And surprise : I was denied access because “my country of origin doesn’t allow access to this site”. Well, well, well! I checked “Germany” and got the same answer. I switched browser (maybe a problem of cookies?) and was denied access again. And then eureka! Is it possible that access was denied to Europeans? I tried “USA” and entered into the site with a loud sigh of relief.
The story is not over and I hope you’re not getting bored yet. I was expecting a site dedicated to those premium wine brands. Unfortunately the site is a little confusing. Under “Brands” are listed “Australian Wine” (which one?), “New Zealand Wine” (which one?), “Champagne” (really?), “Spirits” (great wine brands!), “Other Beverages” (yes?) and “Tasting Notes” (of what?). I’m usually a rather accommodating person (at least, I hope) but at that point I got slightly annoyed : first, it required special detective skills to enter the site; then I have no information on those famous “Premium Wine Brands”.
Let’s be honest. When a global company such as Pernod-Ricard invests millions of dollars (or euros) to re-organize its brands and hire new executives, is it that difficult or intellectually challenging to think about a basic communication tool, a web site? Is it too much to ask for a certain respect for the consumers? And maybe even more important, is it a positive move for the awareness of the brands involved? I’m not sure…