Inter Rhône changes ad campaign in responsibility drive

Inter Rhône, the body representing producers and negociants in the Côtes du Rhône, is dropping the hippo and hedgehog from its ad campaign for fear they will appeal to children.

The two illustrated characters, who have featured in the campaign for the past 10 years, will not be present in the new campaign when it is launched in October.

Inter Rhône marketing export manager Olivier Legrand said advisors at the Advertising Standards Agency told the company the ads may cause complaints, because of tougher regulations around the advertising and promotion of alcohol.

He said: “They told us there could be a problem, so we thought that if we continued to use this campaign we could get into trouble.

"Because we use animals, people could think that it's a way for us to say to kids 'drink alcohol', so we don't want to take the risk.

“The campaign has been running for 10 years, so it is time for a change, but it is sad to lose them.”

The strapline used in the current campaign – Think Red. Think Côtes du Rhône – will remain in the new one and Inter Rhône plans to increase its marketing budget by £150,000 in the UK this year to help retain its position in the market.

Inter Rhône is also planning to deal directly with retailers on promotional activity in stores, rather than through marketing and communication company Sopexa.

"The idea is for us to be more involved and it is a way to simplify the way we work together."