TROUBLED CANADIAN MIST EYES WOMEN'S MAGAZINES: BROWN-FORMAN DOUBLES BUDGET, MULLS BROADCAST

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Hoping to boost its flagging Canadian Mist brand, Brown-Forman Beverages Worldwide is moving some of its media focus to women-targeted magazines.

This is part of an overall shift from mainly outdoor advertising to print for the whiskey.

SPEND UP TO $6 MIL

The distiller will spend up to $6 million this year, double last year's outlay, said Robert Hausladen, Canadian Mist marketing director.

Hill Holliday/Altschiller, New York, handles the campaign, which features the tagline "Taste worth staying home for."

"We're just not getting customers to the shelf," said Mr. Hausladen, noting that the Canadian whiskey segment has been hurting.

Canadian Mist itself has been fading since 1985 and has suffered consecutive sales declines since 1992. The brand's 1997 sales fell 3.6% to 2.8 million cases, according to industry newsletter Impact.

The distiller is pondering whether expanded electronic media advertising will help reverse this trend, Mr. Hausladen said.

Last year, Brown-Forman ran TV spots tied to a promotion on cable's BET network and also ran radio spots in selected markets.

The driver of the '98 campaign will be print, a medium Brown-Forman largely ignored last year. The distiller will be running ads in yet-to-be-determined women's magazines. Brown-Forman previously hadn't focused on targeting women for the brand.

Brown-Forman spent about $3 million in media for Canadian Mist in the last 12 months, most of it on outdoor, where it was hoping to make an immediate impact with its new campaign. It will continue running outdoor. Total marketing budget for the brand was $12 million last year.

SUMMER SWEEPSTAKES

Besides beefing up advertising, Brown-Forman plans to run a summer sweepstakes giving away trips on Windjammer Cruises.

Other distillers have been stepping up support for their Canadian brands, notably Seagram Americas, which broke into electronic media for its Crown Royal brand, and Allied-Domecq Spirits & Wines, which has been throwing more support behind its Canadian Club brand.

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