The Österreich Wein Marketing GmbH is a service company for the Austrian wine industry with headquarters in Vienna. A predecessor was the "Verein für Österreichische Weinwerbung" (Association for Austrian Wine Advertising) founded in 1952. The main focus was on wine tastings, participation in trade fairs, letter advertising and billposting. It was dissolved in 1968, the existing assets were given to the ÖWI (Austrian Wine Institute), today an ÖWM subsidiary. This subsidiary is still involved in logistics, shipping and sales of wine accessories, advertising material etc. Between 1968 and 1985 the Austrian Wine Fund carried out promotional activities for Austrian wine.
In 1985, the so-called wine scandal (popularly known as the "glycol scandal") came to light. This concerned the unauthorised "improvement" by adding diethylene glycol. At the end of 1986, the "Österreichische Weinmarketing Service GmbH" was founded to help alleviate the consequences of this scandal, among other things by means of marketing measures. It supports and coordinates the strategic efforts of the Austrian wine industry to improve quality and sales. It is financed by compulsory contributions from all winegrowers calculated from the areas under vines. The annual revenues amount to about 4 million euros in marketing contributions of the wine industry (1.1 cents per litre of harvested wine and 1.1 cents per litre of bottled wine put into circulation) and about 3.5 million euros in contributions from the federal provinces. In addition, the ÖWM receives subsidies from the European Union.
The strategy aims at a balanced marketing mix that is adapted to the respective markets. This means image work under the aspect of sales promotion and active public relations work with supporting media advertising (promotion of origins and wine-growing regions, especially in close cooperation with regional wine committees). The marketing strategy of the Austrian wine industry focuses on quality wine, recognisable by the State Approval Number and the red-white-red banderole on the capsule.
A relevant reorganisation of the quality system in Austria was decided in the 1990s by representatives of the Austrian Viticulture Association, the wine trade, the ÖWM and the Ministry of Agriculture after long discussions. The ÖWM is also significantly involved in the annual wine exhibition Salon Österreichischer Wein. Wolfgang Lusak (1986-1989), Engelbert Prassl (1990), Dr. Walter Kutscher (1991-1993), Dr. Bertold Salomon (1994-2001), Michael Thurner MBA (2002-2006), Wilhelm Klinger (2007-2019) and Chris Yorke (from 2020) were or are active as managing directors. Another subsidiary is the Austrian Wine Academy. Comparable institutions are DWI in Germany and SWC in Switzerland.
Source and photo: Österreich Wein Marketing GmbH