Your Wine Is Toxic and Poisonous
I wonder how often the folks at Dry Farm Wines have had the opportunity to look winemakers in the face and tell them “your wine is poisonous”. Not take the cowardly route and state in Facebook ads that all wine but theirs is “toxic”. No. I wonder how many times the Dry Farm Wines people have had the courage to look a winemaker straight in the eye and tell them, “your wine is toxic”.
This is just one of the questions I have about the unethical form of sales I call “denigration marketing”. Dry Farm Wines, a wine club, has been pursuing this form of marketing for some time now, and particularly in ads on social media.
The claim being made by Dry Farm Wines in ad after ad after ad is this:
“Do you know where your wine comes from? Toxic industrial wine farming is today’s standard. Only 5% of vineyards are organically farmed, which means the majority of the wine you are drinking is industrially farmed with sprays and pesticides. This is cheap, mass-produced factory wine. Dry Farm Wines is the only pure Natural Wine that goes above and beyond organic industry standards.
My first question is, what industry standards? My second question is what does “mass-produced” mean? My third question is do the people behind Dry Farm Wines know the meaning of the word “Toxic”? I do. I looked it up:
TOXIC: tox·ic /ˈtäksik/
2. very harmful or unpleasant in a pervasive or insidious way
The reason you don’t see this kind of marketing used very often is that it’s incredibly cowardly and unethical. What I’d like to see is Dry Farm Wines stand up and list 100 wines made in California or France or Oregon or Germany and NAME THE NAMES OF BRANDS THAT MAKE TOXIC WINES.
But they won’t do this. They won’t do it for a couple reasons. First, they are cowards. Second, they would be sued to high heaven and Dry Farm Wines would go away. And the reason no one at Dry Farm Wines has never looked a winemaker in the face and told them their wine is poisonous is that they don’t fancy the idea of by slugged in the face by someone willing to make their feelings known in a face to face fashion.
Denigration marketing is bad for the wine industry. It gives the impression that the wine industry can’t be trusted; that the makers of wine have no integrity; that they don’t care about the environment; that they don’t care about their customers. None of this is true. But say it over and over again like Dry Farm Wines does and people start to believe it.
It would be one thing if Dry Farm Wines was making these kinds of claims in the context of a conference or at a wine event. But in this case, they are making these vile claims in the service of lining their pockets. It’s the same sort of thing the champions of natural wine often did when the category was just emerging. It was unethical then, and it’s unethical now.
By the way and for the record, if Dry Farm Wines was correct in their claim about most wine being poisonous, we’d have millions of people dropping dead or heading to the hospital. And we don’t. Still, they make the claim.
It’s not uncommon to use the fears of the consumers to sell products. In fact, it’s a commonplace occurrence. But this is more than that.
It’s a very sad act.