the forum

28 May, 2010

Q Am I allowed to offer a free cigar with a bottle of Cognac, or am I offending some regulation???A I think you’ll find you’re in breach of the law, at least in England. The regulations say you can only display tobacco products at point of sale, or in response to a customer request. If a customer is buying spirits and you’re volunteering to give them a free cigar in return, I suspect you’re against the spirit – if not the exact letter – of the law.

Gill, Kent??A I don’t think you’re allowed to promote any tobacco products in that way. But if you offered a free bottle of Cognac with every box of cigars, there wouldn’t be a problem.

Harry, Leeds??Q If traffic fumes enter my shop is there any chance they could affect unopened bottles of wine???A Not unless the fumes are really severe and the corks are in some way compromised. Your staff will be the “canaries in the mine” here. Look out for streaming eyes, wheezing and prolonged bouts of coughing.

Bill, Swansea??Q I own a small off-licence/wine merchant in mid-Wales. I find it really frustrating that there are people around here with a lot of money who never use my shop. How can I encourage local people to buy their wine from me???A Is there a local deli frequented by these affluent customers? If so, why not see if you can supply it with some of your wines? A small sign acknowledging you as the source may encourage people to seek out a wider selection in your store.

Mary, Edinburgh ?Q Is there any scientific evidence to prove that women are better tasters than men??Chloe, Amersham??Q I want to stock some really good, authentically made British lager. Any suggestions??JB, London

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Hofmeister may need more than the bear essentials to succeed

So, George The Bear is back. It’s hard for some of us oldies to fathom, but there are those under, say, 40 who can’t actually remember Hofmeister and feel the cultural jolt supplied by the return of both the bear and the beer whose marketing campaigns it used to front.

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

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