Nov. 22, 2012 update: I exchanged emails with Sofia Fenton, whose business hired the PR firm that sent this gem. She was even more upset than I was, and asked me to note that the release was not her doing and that she didn't see it before it was sent to the media. "This was my first experience with a PR company," she wrote. "I paid them thousands for positive press and now, when I am Googled, I have negative press."
The Wine Curmudgeon understands -- not only about bad publicity, but about the power of the Internet. Which is another reason why wine marketing people need to be more professional and pay more attention. When they make a mistake, it doesn't go away like it did in the paper and pencil days. It's in the cyber-ether forever.
The Wine Curmudgeon has noted the poor quality of wine public relations before, but a news release I got the other day actually made me wince. “I hope you are doing well! I wanted to introduce you to Sofia Fenton’s wine apparel and accessories, perfect for every fashionable woman and wine coinsure alike." It took a minute or so before I figured out what a wine coinsure was – a connoisseur, probably.
I mention this here not to be mean or snarky; there are plenty of others who do that better than I do. Rather, it’s because wine PR should be held to the same standards as wine writing, and regular visitors here know how much time and effort I spend on that.
Something like this not only embarrasses the agency and the client, but the wine business. Would this happen in a grown-up business run by adults? Of course not. Would it happen in cars or laundry detergent? Nope. But it happens all too frequently in wine, because our standards are so pathetically low.