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Internet the way forward for wine marketing

Published:  23 July, 2008

Innovative ideas on how the wine business should market to today's consumer were suggested from industry outsider Terry McBride last week.

McBride is a successful music producer and owner of Nettwerk Records & Management in Canada. Speaking at the Institute of Masters of Wine Symposium in Napa, California, McBride suggested that the music industry is comparable to the highly fragmented wine business. Basing his views on his experience in marketing new, independent bands, he predicted an explosion in new marketing techniques for wine using the internet.

He noted that, contrary to popular belief, internet usage is dominated by older consumers, not teenagers: 75% of internet usage is by the over-25s, and over 50% of usage is accounted for by the over-40 age group. Citing advertising statistics by medium, he noted that the internet currently accounts for 35% of leisure time, yet only 6% of advertising spend.

McBride suggested the industry should tap into the growing community of enthusiasts using the net. He commented on the growth of social sites' such as, which now

has upwards of 50 million members talking to each other about what they like and dislike.

He said: A huge social network has been created. There are probably self-created social sites that talk about wine, but I doubt anyone in the wine business has gone to any depth to support this.'