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Rhône says au revoir to hedgehog and hippo

The cartoon stars of the Côtes du Rhône's highly successful ad campaign are being dropped after 10 years, amid fears that the adverts could attract criticism for their possible appeal to a younger audience.

‘Now that the mood in the UK regarding alcohol has changed so much, we were worried that we might be perceived as targeting the young,’ explained Olivier Legrand, export marketing manager of regional body Inter Rhône.

‘We asked the Advertising Standards Authority for guidance, and it agreed that continuing with the current ad campaign could be risky.’

The new ad campaign, which will launch this autumn, will rely on more conventional wine-related imagery, and will retain the existing strapline: ‘Think red, think Côtes du Rhône’.

The UK is the number one export market for Rhône Valley wines, with sales of Côtes du Rhône Villages increasing by 21% in 2007. ‘Our forecasts for 2008 are more gloomy due to the slowing economy, tougher regulations around avertising and sales promotions, and price increases,’ said Legrand.

Written by Amy Wislocki

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