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Argentinean winery tackles "fierce" competition in UK with film festival partnership

Published:  19 August, 2016

Bodega Argento is looking to strengthen its position in the minds of "culture seeking Londoners" with its continued sponsorship of the Argentine Film Festival.

The brand returns this year as the main sponsor of the 5th Argentine Film Festival which runs until Sunday, August 21.

Gustavo Crespo, UK managing director of Blends Wine Estates which includes Bodega Argento, said the sponsorship is vital to achieve their objective of merging the wine with Argentine lifestyle and bringing this to the UK market.

This is the third year the brand has sponsored the festival, and continues to bolsters its presence in the UK where there is a predominant focus on the on-trade.

"A lot of time and effort goes to talk to the trade (buyers, sommeliers, press) and we have a dedicated brand manager based in London for this purpose," Crespo said.

"Every market is different and we have different plans in place depending on the distribution channel strategy for each. In markets like Holland, Belgium and Canada where our main distribution channel is off-trade, our marketing budget goes to activities in stores from magazine advertising to in-store media channel videos."

As well adapting to different to the needs of different markets, the company also has to negotiate macro-economic challenges - the latest being a diminished pound compared to the US dollar.

"Brexit put pressure on prices and margins and had a direct impact on sales," Crespo added.

"The market itself has its own challenges. We see more and more consolidation in distribution in the UK, and suppliers have to adapt quick to these changes in the chain. Competition is fierce and the Argentine category is very fragmented so there is low consumer loyalty to brands, but very high loyalty to Malbec, which already is a brand itself, in the same way with Rioja and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc."

As the exclusive wine supplier to the festival, Bodega Argento will be serving up its Buenos Aires inspired Malbec Esquinas de Argento throughout at several London locations.