Published Date

TORONTO, Oct. 5, 2017 /CNW/ - Recognized around the world as a purveyor of good times and promoter of inclusivity, Smirnoff is launching a new marketing campaign – "Stay Open" – that is designed to spotlight Canada as a global leader of inclusivity.

Smirnoff believes good times are better when everyone is invited, and through this new campaign, the brand is hoping to lend its voice to a broader message of global inclusivity.

Through a collection of inspiring real-life stories, "Stay Open" brings a uniquely Canadian perspective to Smirnoff's global platform and brand campaign, We're Open.

The Canadian "Stay Open" campaign was created to highlight the open-mindedness, open-heartedness and fun-loving spirit at the heart of Canada's culture. Whether it's someone who was born and raised here, or a recent immigrant who chose to make Canada their new home, Smirnoff believes in the power of bringing people together through shared experiences and celebrations, 365 days a year.

"Globally, Smirnoff stands for inclusive good times, but nowhere in the world do we see that come to life like in Canada," said Mark Phillips, Brand Leader, Smirnoff Canada. "These core values are ingrained in the lives of Canadians, and Smirnoff believes they always deserve to be celebrated, even though Canadians have been historically humble in their assertion of them. Smirnoff is on a mission to promote inclusivity through the power of good times."

The "Stay Open" film celebrates the true spirit of what it means to be Canadian and the idea that no matter who you are, where you're from, or who you love, you're welcome here. With "Stay Open," Smirnoff is hoping to cement the brand's belief that "good times" get better when people come together to celebrate inclusively, and that Canadians are leading by example in this regard. By sharing a mix of authentic experiences from real Canadians, Smirnoff is revealing a rich and compelling snapshot of what makes up the mosaic that is Canada. The stories highlighted in the campaign are meant to inspire others around the world to embrace individuals the way our country has always been known to do.

As part of a multipronged national strategy, Smirnoff is amplifying the campaign through traditional, social, digital, and out-of-home media placements. The film hit the air last night and will be followed by digital and out-of-home media placements later this month. This will be a continuous evolution through the end of this year, and beyond.

Please visit Smirnoff Canada on YouTube to view the film online.

Published Date

Milan, 3rd October 2017 - The best solutions, materials, and lines. Whatever the world of Furniture & Tableware involves, from interior design and outdoor furniture to next generation formats and trends, will be, once again, displayed at HostMilano 2017 (in Fieramilano from 20 to 24 October) in an area that is expected to be a true success, as never before. Still one month to go and the figures are already clear. This year is going to be as successful as ever. Over 1,500 international buyers, 2,081 companies, 1,255 of which are Italian (60.3%) and 826 (39.7%) from over 51 countries (a 3.5% increase compared to 2015) will make this event unique. The Furniture, Technology, and Tableware pavilion confirms its unstoppable growth. In fact, its weight in terms of offering touches 20% (18.8% exactly), against 43.7% of the professional catering and Bread, Pizza, and Pasta micro-sectors, and 37.5% of Coffee Tea Bars - Coffee Vending Machines - Gelato and Pastry sectors.

Italy’s products keep growing: export increased by 1.9% in 2017

Between new entries and old friends, many companies of the Furniture industry have already confirmed their presence at HostMilano 2017. For the Tableware sector, there will be Abert, Arc International, Bormioli Rocco, Celtex, De Buyer, Giblors, Ginori, Gold Plast, Masa, Mepra, Pasabahce, Pinti, Rak, Revol, Rivolta Camignani, Sambonet, Schoenwald, Siggi, Tognana, Zwiesel. For the Furniture sector, there will be Afa Arredamenti, Baero, Brianza Tende, Calligaris, Cierreesse, Costa Group, Emu, Fluidra, Kartell, Mise en Demeure, Myyour, Ombrellificio Veneto, Pedrali, Serralunga, Slide, Tecnoarredamenti, Vondom, Wallpepper, Zucchetti. And Cei System, Gewiss, Gruppo Buffetti, Indelb, Vimar, and Zucchetti will represent the Technology sector.

After all, Italy’s figures confirm the healthy state of this sector. In fact, according to Fiac/ANIMA – the Italian association of household companies – the Household sector recorded a slight increase in 2016 (€ 865 million) with a +0.3% compared to 2015. But that’s not all, because the positive trend shows how this increase can further improve throughout 2017, as it can mark an extraordinary +2%. Good news is also coming from the export compartment (worth € 568 million) to which 66% of the production is destined. In 2016, exportations increased by 0.5% compared to the previous year, and expectations for 2017 are high (+1.9%). As for the international demand, France is still leading the compartment with its € 105.6 million, followed by Germany, United States, Switzerland, and Spain. EU-28 still leads this special ranking (59%), followed by Asia (11.1%) and North America (8.4%).

Published Date

Sydney, Australia , October 4, 2017 ( - Vino-lovers rejoice, the world’s most awarded wines and wineries have been revealed in the much anticipated release of the 2017 World Rankings of Wines & Spirits (WRW&S) Report.

Released annually by the World Association of Wine Writers and Journalists (WAWWJ), the report is a definitive ranking of the world’s most awarded wines, wineries and wine regions. The ranking is the only one of its kind to benchmark wines on a global scale.

The report details the top 100 wineries in 2017, the top 10 countries of 2017, the top 100 wines of 2017, rankings by individual variety and the individual reports for the top 5 countries.

“The annual list aims to reward the efforts of the World Wine Companies who compete and demonstrate consistency across the numerous wine shows around the world,” said WAWWJ Chairman Leonardo Castellani.

“Out of 700,930 wines evaluated in the competition, 150 wines received the prestigious accolade for ‘Wine of the Year’. This is the main distinction of the WRW&S and is only given to those wines that receive 125 points minimum over the course of the year.”

The top five wineries of 2017 include: Wakefield Wines (known as Taylors Wines in Australia); Gonzalez Byass S.A. (Spain), Casa Santos Lima – Companhia Das Vinhas S.A. (Portugal), Wolf Blass Wines (Australia), and Sogrape Vinhos de Portugal S.A. (Portugal).

The top five wines of 2017 include: Taylors / Wakefield Jaraman Shiraz 2014 (Australia), Taylors / Wakefield St Andrews Shiraz 2013 (Australia), Noe Pedro Ximenez Vors (Spain), Taylors / Wakefield St Andrews Shiraz 2014 (Australia), and Casa Perini Moscatel (Brazil).

Of the competing countries, France, USA, Spain, Italy and Australia rounded out the top five.

Commenting on being named the ‘Most Awarded Winery in the World’, Mitchell Taylor, Third- Generation Winemaker and Managing Director of Wakefield Wines said:

“We are incredibly proud to be recognized as the world’s most awarded winery as well as the world’s most awarded wine. Since the beginning we’ve sought to make wines that can take on some of the best.

“International wine competitions and rankings like the WRW&S are proof of just how exciting Australian wine is becoming internationally. Through our tastings and events across the country, we’ve found US wine drinkers to be very open and interested in trying wines from all over the world.”

The WAWWJ compiles the rankings in the report by totaling the trophy and medal results from a selection of 80 international wine shows around the world. These shows make up the top wine competitions from the more than 495 competitions around the world, with competing wines from more than 5 countries. The results are then tabulated and scored independently by the WAWWJ and posted to the organization's website each year.

The results in the 2017 WRW&S consist of award shows from the start of February 2016 to the end of January 2017.

The 2017 World Ranking of Wines and Spirits Report <

Published Date

Taboo Absinthe Turns 10!

We cannot believe it has been ten years since we released Canada's first Genuine Absinthe - Taboo Absinthe.

Join us at both of our distilleries on Oct. 27th as Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery opens both Barrel Room Lounges (Kelowna & Vernon) to celebrate Taboo's birthday.

Visit our Parisian-themed distillery for the ‘Green Hour’ and enjoy Absinthe cocktails from the bar from 6pm until close.

Don't forget, it is Halloween weekend so costumes are welcome and of course there will be treats - and maybe a trick or two. 

Get your calendar set, the fairy awaits!

Cocktail of the Week: Water of Love

 1 oz Okanagan Spirits Aquavitus
 ¾ oz Lillet Blanc
 ½ oz Okanagan Spirits Gin
 ½ oz Okanagan Spirits Taboo Absinthe
 ½ oz Campari
 ¾ oz Simple Syrup
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice

Published Date

September 12, 2017

The scenario is familiar. Your hospitality brand is under attack online from all sides it seems.  Some reviews are thoughtful but most are not, and you’re worried that your brand will suffer, and your business.

What can you do?

According to some new research, the one thing you can do that may make all the difference is to take the time to respond.  According to a forthcoming study in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science, a leading academic marketing journal, management responses can not only lead to higher ratings for businesses, but also more substantive reviews even if they aren’t all positive. 

The study found that online ratings increase - not because consumers are more satisfied with the business - but because unsatisfied customers are less likely to post baseless negative comments. In addition, even negative reviews are improved because they tend to be longer and are more likely to provide substantive, useful feedback. 

The study, “Online Reputation Management: Estimating the Impact of Management Responses on Consumer Reviews,” is authored by researchers from the University of Southern California and Boston University.

The authors examined tens of thousands of hotel reviews and responses from TripAdvisor, which bills itself as “the world's largest travel site.” The practice of responding to reviews is common on TripAdvisor. Roughly one in three consumer reviews receives a response from hotel management, and more and more managers are adopting the practice.

The study finds that when hotels begin to respond, they receive 12 percent more reviews, and their ratings increase by an average of 0.12 stars. While this gain appears modest, ratings tend to vary little over time. Therefore, even a small change in ratings can have a significant impact on how hotels are perceived by consumers and how they are ranked by review platforms. “Our results suggest that signaling to consumers that managers care about their feedback is a good strategy that can boost review volume and ratings,” the researchers said. 

The study also explores why ratings increase when managers start responding.

For example, if the timing of management responses is shortly after hotel renovations it may seem that responding leads to better ratings when the true underlying cause is improvements in hotel quality. So, is it just a coincidence that ratings increase when managers start responding or is there a direct link between responding and improved ratings? 

The study found that in the end, what researchers discovered is that when managers read and respond to reviews, unsatisfied consumers become more hesitant to leave unsubstantiated complaints, directly leading to higher ratings.

But there is a catch, according to the authors. While management responses may discourage some consumers from leaving negative reviews altogether, other consumers may decide to make their negative feedback more substantive when managers are listening. The study finds that while negative reviews become less frequent when managers respond, they also become longer.

“This is an interesting trade-off for managers: fewer negative ratings at the cost of more detailed negative feedback,” concluded the researchers. "While this may hurt in the short run, it is a valuable source of feedback that businesses can act upon to fix problems and avoid future negative reviews.” 


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