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When wine adverts don't tell the truth

When wine adverts don't tell the truth

What happens if a winery pretends to have certain characteristics or elements that in truth are inexistent? And what happens to those who copy the name of a wine or its label?

Untrue publicity

Untrue publicity

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

<< … any publicity, in any way, including the presentation that can bring one to incur in error … >> is prohibited, both when it cheats the consumer, and when it damages a competitor, this is false advertisining . This is what the Law called Codice del Consumo from 2005. So it not sufficient to check what is written on the bottle labels but it is necessary to check the packaging, the brochures the web site and all other instruments used by the winery to communicate.

The cheated consumers have two instruments at their disposal: the   IAP Istituto di autodisciplina pubblicitaria and the Antitrust. The first is private and deals with a self-discipline code and a private Jury. The second is public and refers to the Codice del Consumo a consequently to a law that foresees penalties.pinocchio_tThe wineries can call upon the same organisms when they are damaged by publicity from an adversary winery or when they see their label being copied, or even the name, buy someone else. In other words you can fight against those stating something evidently false <<My Brunello is the only one produced following the organic regime>> or from someone producing a wine called “Prima Donne” and packaged it with a label that looks like my “Prime Donne” it is possible to choose one of the two channel with different modalities and times and results.The IAP Jury is very rapid and in one month is able to get a final and unappeasable verdict. The effect is felt when TV, radios, magazines, posters the cinema are involved..so the societies that have undersigned the self regulating Code. In fact the IAP, being a private institute cannot force a winery to change name and label of its “imitation” . For that the Antitrust is necessary, who is however slower, does make unappealable decisions but has the benefit of enforcing very high fines.

untrue publicity

untrue publicity

pubblicita_ingannevoleMaria Cristina Baldini from the Studio Torta told “Oicce Times” of two exemplary episodes. In 2004 the Jury di IAP blocked the advertisement with the phrase <<Le acque della salute>> by Uliveto e Rocchetta. Last year the Antitrust fined the same company 100.000€ and the Federazione Italiana dei Medici di Medicina Generale  30.000€ for the phrase << La Federazione Italiana Medici di Famiglia e Uliveto e Rocchetta insieme per la salute della famiglia>>. This publicity was considered misleading because meant to convince the consumer of the presence of therapeutic benefits not completely accurate.

A case that was more directly connected to wine dates back to  2011 when the Antitrust convicted a very famous society for sales by correspondence for wine and food products, for having presented as “unrepeatable occasions”  sales where no cost or cancellation policy appeared.

To conclude the wineries get more damage because of improper communication made by adversaries have some instruments to defend themselves. Nothing though protects them from the vicious chitter chatter which seems to have become the main hobby of certain wine appellations. A terrible habit that instead of convincing the buyers on the superior qualities of tones own brand actually discredits the community of wineries to which the slanderer belongs.