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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Christian Davis

BRL Hardy has announced an initiative whereby its Hardy's Stamp brand is to back the breast cancer charity, Pink Ribbon Foundation, starting with a minimum donation of 50,000. With one in ten women contracting breast cancer, more than 13,000 a year dying from it, and 279 men affected each year, too, BRL Hardy Europe CEO Christopher Carson described it as an exciting initiative to help people who are clearly helping us'. Adrian McKeon, Hardy's trading development director, said that there will be special display units and promotions, and the Pink Ribbon foundation's emblem will be featured on the foil. There will be a consumer press launch in March, on-shelf activity in April, a competition for wine writers to design a label in May, and a record-breaking women-only wine event' in July. There will also be activity around London Fashion Week in September, while October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month'. Carson said he expected the partnership' to run for three to five years, and estimated donations well into six figures'. With the demographics of Pink Ribbon closely akin to Hardy's Stamp purchasers - 25-44 year-old ABC1 women - Carson hopes the tie-in will see a rise in sales of 10% on top of the 10-12% he would expect for Hardy brands. Taking a swipe at other brands' (price cutting) promotions, Carson said: I believe that this sort of marketing idea is the way forward. I hope this sets some precedents for the wine industry. It has to be more sophisticated in the way it markets its products.' A spokeswoman said that the company was aware of persistent reports linking wine drinking with a higher risk of breast cancer, but claimed that the evidence was inconclusive'. Australian author and campaigner Dr Philip Norrie, who promotes the health benefits of moderate wine consumption, told Harpers that taking 5mg of folic acid a day (as many pregnant mothers do) would help counteract any threat.