NY Times: Sitrick And Company Leads Cork Campaign

By Stuart Elliott

The Portuguese cork industry, backed by the Portuguese government, is undertaking an American-style campaign with a green twist.

Actually, “twist” might be the wrong word, because the campaign seeks to encourage wineries to use cork stoppers rather than aluminum twist-off caps or stoppers made of plastic and other synthetic materials. The campaign includes advertising, public relations, a Web site, events and a presence in social media like Facebook and Twitter.

The campaign promotes cork by playing up what are proclaimed as its significant advantages over alternatives on environmental and sustainability grounds. That separates it from other efforts that have sold the use of cork for bottles on the issue of taste.

To underline that message, the campaign refers to cork as “natural cork” and carries the theme “Approved by nature.”

There are also some unconventional elements to the campaign like coasters made of cork that will proclaim “Put a cork in climate change.”

The campaign is being handled by the Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco offices of Sitrick & Company, the public relations and communications agency, which has brought in the Citizen Group in San Francisco, a shop that specializes in what its founder, Robin Raj, calls pro-social marketing and “building citizen brands.”

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