- The Washington Times - Monday, January 27, 2003

Champagne the French region known for making the sparkling wine of the same name has popped the cork on a $1.5 million advertising campaign.
The winemakers in Champagne are trying to educate people about the difference between sparkling wine and authentic champagne, made in the region about 90 miles east of Paris.
"If it's true champagne, it's from Champagne," says Thomas Bruce, director of the Office of Champagne USA, which is the U.S. affiliate of the Champagne region of France. "Location matters."
To make that point, the print campaign uses several different bookmark-sized teasers with a bright-yellow question mark asking: "Florida oranges from Maine?" and "Washington apples from Nevada?"
The final ad talks about the importance of the champagne name.
"Some sparkling wines may look and even taste the part, but if it's not from Champagne, it's simply not true Champagne," the ad states. It continues with more detail about the long history of winemaking in the French region.
"We want to draw awareness and appreciation for the word 'champagne' and what it represents," Mr. Bruce says.
At least seven or eight large U.S. winemakers still use the word champagne to describe their sparkling wine, Mr. Bruce says. They are protected by a law passed in the early 1990s that allows them to use about 15 terms including champagne, chablis and burgundy in the names of their wines even though these are European winemaking regions.
"This is not an issue of quality," Mr. Bruce says. "It's about truth in labeling."
The ads started appearing this month in seven national publications including Vanity Fair, the New Republic, the Economist and Wine Spectator. The ads will continue to run through June and start again in the fall.
The campaign was created by Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Associates in the District and produced by Blue Worldwide in New York.
Mr. Bruce says other winemaking regions in Europe like Burgundy and Chablis will join the ad campaign in February or March.
Looking for a winner
The D.C. Lottery is at it again. The lottery is on another search for an ad agency this time to handle the creative side of the business. The current contract is held by Reston's HR Communications, which has won one of the lottery's one-year, $990,000 media-buying contracts. MDB Communications was awarded the second $990,000 media-buying contract earlier this month.
The lottery is inviting interested agencies to a "pre-solicitation" meeting at 10 a.m. Friday at its headquarters at 2101 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the marketing department's objectives and advertising projects.
The lottery has a $5 million annual marketing budget.
New wins
RTC Relationship Marketing, based in the District, has been hired by Straightline Source, the technology-enabled steel distribution division of U.S. Steel Corp. RTC's job will be to help Pittsburgh-based Straightline acquire new customers for its steel-procurement services and build relationships with current customers.
Tax Analysts, a nonprofit information services company, has hired the Dan Rosenthal Co. of Bethesda to handle branding, trade marketing, creative work and media planning and buying. Tax Analysts provides clients with information from tax lawyers and accountants and operates a news agency that provides information to clients worldwide.
Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Advertising & Marketing appears every other Monday.

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