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TIME WARP!!!!!

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TIME WARP!!!!!

Postby Argyll » Mon Sep 06, 2004 12:54 pm

:oops:

for those of you lucky (?) enough to have received WhiskyMag 42, there is a small news piece on page 7:

"Whisky the star in bumper Autumn...

The pre-seasonal activity began in September with Whisky Live Glasgow... it attracted thousands and featured a range of interactivity stations as well as the chance to sample whisky
."

Have I somehow missed a month, as I thought I was attending the show this coming weekend - it appears to have already happened!

Also, I enjoyed this little snippet from Dominic talking about women enjoying whisky:

" ... it became clear that there was a danger of being at best patronising, at worst sexist..."

The pursuing articles then feature pink stylised fonts and the fluffiest, most condescending articles you can imagine.

Dominic, you couldn't have said, in true Pub Landlord style, 'Nah, come on love, whisky is for men not for girlies', better had you tried (perhaps you did).

Condescending and wasteful at best. Relevance to whisky drinkers (male and female)? Absolutely ZERO.

Finally, I appreciate that the covers of WhiskyMag are at times misleading, but Liz Hurley on the front holding a glass of wine! COME ON GUYS - it's not even a good picture of Liz. If you are going to sell issues of the mag purely by putting eye candy on the cover, at least get a decent pic of the candy.

Oh by the way, trying to sell a magazine by simply using a picture of an attractive lady is condescending to women (I know, believe me I know).

Rant over - I would love to hear a response from the WhiskyMag team - if they can tear themselves out of the bathroom, leaving the whiskymag there of course.

Argyll
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Re: TIME WARP!!!!!

Postby Matt2 » Mon Sep 06, 2004 1:45 pm

Argyll wrote:The pursuing articles then feature pink stylised fonts and the fluffiest, most condescending articles you can imagine.

Condescending and wasteful at best. Relevance to whisky drinkers (male and female)? Absolutely ZERO.


Yes it is rather pink (now to be called 'The Pink Issue'). Our designer Emma thought it would look good, and I have to agree with her.

Condescending ???? No relevance ???? Perhaps you may want to read it again (and not just look at the pictures :wink: ).

I found the Whisky Debate with Gillian Bell, Abigail Bosanko and Annabel Meikle very interesting. The tasting session from the 8 ladies was a refreshing change, and I am looking forward to reading Abigails book.

The theme of this issue was indeed women and whisky. Suggesting their opinions and view points are wasteful and have no relevance to whisky drinkers is in itself condescending, perhaps you meant something else ?

It will be interesting to see what others think about this issue, especially the female members of this forum.
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The Pink Issue

Postby Argyll » Mon Sep 06, 2004 1:54 pm

Okay - let's leave the content of the aricles up for debate...

What about the fact that WhiskyLive Glasgow was written about in past tense, and, the fact that Liz Hurley is pictured with a glass of wine in her hand, on the cover of the WHISKY mag?
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Re: The Pink Issue

Postby Matt2 » Mon Sep 06, 2004 2:05 pm

Argyll wrote:Okay - let's leave the content of the aricles up for debate...

What about the fact that WhiskyLive Glasgow was written about in past tense, and, the fact that Liz Hurley is pictured with a glass of wine in her hand, on the cover of the WHISKY mag?


I can assure you it is a glass of Whisky and not wine. If the barcode wasn't there you would see it is not a wine glass.

As for the timewarp ...... ummmm ..... I will let someone else answer that one. :?
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Postby whiskygirl » Mon Sep 06, 2004 2:23 pm

I am a woman and a whisky drinker, and i happen to agree with Argyll. There's nothing wrong with the CONTENT of the articles and the debate, but the problem lies with the aesthetics of the article.

In my opinion, it is actually very condescending to have a serious debate headed by women "prettied" up in "girly" colours in order to make it appeal to women. If i were one of the ladies who took part in the debate, i would be slightly peeved. Their comments are spot on but the so called girly background just belittles the intelligence of the women who took part in the debate.

Over 30% of all whisky drinkers are women, and I can see the thought behind "dedicating" an issue to women, but come on? Liz Hurley holding a glasss of wine (don't even try to tell me she's drinking whisky out of a long stemmed glass!) on the front cover and a couple of articles tarted up to look attractive? Surely WM can do better than this?

All female whisky drinkers i know are the complete opposite of the image you're projecting in this Issue. If you want to make whisky appeal to women, you need to stop producing fluffy, girly, flouncy guff like this and treat us with some respect!!

:evil:
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Postby ragsrobin » Mon Sep 06, 2004 2:46 pm

I haven't yet seen the issue in question, being stuck here in Norway it'll be several more weeks till I do, but I just have to say, Matt, that fluffy pink design might quite possibly look good, but I think what people are objecting to is that you all seem to have thought "Oh, we have an article with women in it now - we must make sure to have a feminine design for it". As a female whisky drinker who actively dislikes most of the whiskies that have through the years been dubbed "ladies whiskies" I think we have a right to object to stereotyping - whether or not the design looks good is completely irrelevant.

(Now, if you'd done an article on "the most heavily peated whiskies" and had a "girly", fluffy pink layout - I would have enjoyed that...)

And: Liz may be drinking whisky, but it looks like wine and if you have to be told that "it really is whisky" then perhaps a different picture would have been better...
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Postby whiskygirl » Mon Sep 06, 2004 3:01 pm

If you want to read the articles in question, all you have to do is click on the image of the lovely Liz Hurley and it'll lead to to the issues in the mag. No fluffy, girly backdrop though, so you'll have to wait in suspense till it reaches you in norway!! :wink:
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Postby Dominic Roskrow » Mon Sep 06, 2004 5:16 pm

Both argyll and whiskygirl some very valid points and they are noted, but I would like to say the following:

Firstly, the 'retrospective' whisky Live piece - we publish every six weeks and it's always a nightmare when the copy deadline and the publication dates overlap. Whisky Magazine is an international magazine with various publication dates, including a USA one of October 22. The content has to be directed at them, too. And it is bad practice to 'date' a magazine with a potential shelf life of six to seven weeks by running a story that is out of date almost immediately.
If you read what I wrote, all of the information I provide about Whisky Live Glasgow is factual and known to be so today, although I admit that there may be some journalistic licence with the attendance figures - thousands plural is a bit strong, perhaps, though presales figures at this stage and compared alongside London and Tokyo suggest that the figures will reach those levels.
As for the women's feature - I accept the criticism up to a point and agree that pink wasn't necessarily a good idea.
But there are a few things to bear in mind:
One. of the nine pages in the section, five were pink-tinged. Two of them were on the pages about Abigail Bosanko's book, which has a pink and very girlie cover.
Two, I don't accept the content is condescending. Iseabail Mactaggart is a valid interview subject, the round table is just the latest in a series addressing contentious issues (that's the point) , and the feature on Abigail's book is written straight and without opinion. That leaves the women's tasting - and you could argue that it was a pointless exercise. It was good fun though.
There is a perfectly legitimate argument that I shouldn't have bracketed the four features together and contrived a theme in the way I did (although I didn't call it 'women and whisky') and that we shouldn't have gone for the cover as we did.
But I also face criticism from people saying that we don't put women on the cover enough. Indeed, this is the fifth female cover in 42 issues. Two of the first three issues had meaningless female cover pics, one was of Madonna (under the heading 'women and whisky - from matriachs to Madonna') and one was of a woman with her head leaning back and with a look of ecstasy on her face while puffing on a giant Cuban cigar. None of these were mine.
Sourcing the pic was very difficult - most pictures of women drinking through the agencies either look staged or the women look drunk - and this wasn't the image I was trying to get. Liz Hurley is one of the few celebrities that admits to drinking whisky, and indeed, if the picture isn't great it was one of the only ones we could source through the agencies putting the words 'celebrities' 'women' and 'whisky' together. As to whether she's drinking whisky or not, that's what the caption from the agency says.
It wasn't my intention to be condescending and if I have been I apologise. I have argued before more than once that i don't buy in to this 'girlie whisky' idea and nor do I support the marketing view that whisky drinkers in general, and women in particular, should start with a bland blend or a lowlands malt and work their way out. The point of the feature was to challenge that view, and to put the case for independent free-thinking people who in this case happened to be women.
Clearly at least for some readers I have failed to do this. I stand corrected.
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Postby mr_a_non » Mon Sep 06, 2004 9:39 pm

My two penneth worth:

Whisky Mag has got it right. Articles about women in what is (for the worse) a male dominated area look right in pink - they stand out and shout the topic clearly. Colour coding in this way isn't sexist, it is marketing and a clear signpost of the article - it also adds a much needed touch of humour (one that it appears many readers have lost).
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At last...

Postby Argyll » Tue Sep 07, 2004 8:31 am

Good points, well said - and great to see some reaction from the editor - although you might want to get your number of posts up a bit. 1 post from the editor does look a little uninterested...

I retract my comment about the content being condescending - as it clearly isn't.

Now to some contructive criticism - perhaps, in future, Whisky Mag should strive as hard to make female ambassadors (of Scotch) as famous as their male counterparts.

You listed the covers of whisky mag (and actually missed out on a couple earlier very dubious covers) featuring women - off the top of my head here are the covers with photos of 'celebrity' men in the trade.

Richard Paterson
Jim McEwan (perhaps more than once)
David Stewart
Colin Scott
Jimmy Russell

Here are a list of women in the whisky trade that could be potential covers (and I know there are more):

Helen Arthur - author
Ann Miller - Chivas Brand Ambassador
Fiona Murdoch - Whisky Shop, Dufftown
Kate Wright - Springbank
Jacqui Thomson - Ardbeg
Susan Webster - Douglas Laing
Jaclyn Kelly - Arran
Rachel Barrie - Glenmorangie

(apologies for any mistakes)

The list does go on but unfortunately not from memory...

Regards,

Argyll
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Postby Dominic Roskrow » Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:09 pm

Now two!
I am very interested in what is being said and read postings carefully. I value the opinions expressed, most of the time. I am fully aware that I have been here for only two years and that many of the people reading the magazine know far more about whisky than I can ever hope to. I do take on board comment and criticism.
But I normally don't tend to comment on the forum for several reasons;
1. Everyone's entitled to their opinion about the magazine and indeed, it's very healthy and flattering that readers take the time to pass comment. But opinion is subjective and if I responded every time there was criticism of the magazine I would sound either arrogant or over-sensitive.
2. I know it sounds glib but we do our best to put out a strong editorial product and of course we don't always get it right. At the risk of being accused of the very arrogance I've just referred to, I don't see it as a productive use of time beating myself up over how I haven't done my job right each issue, any more than I would sit and criticise anyone else for the way they do their job (well, anyone from middle management or below at least). Last year this site got very personal, very vicious, and bordered on the slanderous. I took a conscious decision not to rise to it.
3. Replying to emails is time consuming and we're under a fair amount of pressure here. I edit a group of titles with a full time staff of just myself, one production manager, one designer and one editorial assistant.
4. I'm a technophobe and can't work out how to get on the forum to reply even if I wanted to. I'm constantly forgetting my password and I think Matt's getting fed up of having to hold my hand every time I go on line.

I broke my own rule in this case because you made some very valid points and they're ones which I was aware of when I set out to put the feature together. I thought it important that you appreciated that misguided I may have been but thoughtless I was not - whatever that actually means in practice.

Anyway, the list of potential interview subjects is noted.
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timewarp

Postby Kate Patrick » Wed Sep 08, 2004 11:27 am


As one of those who took part in the all-girls whisky tasting, I'd like to reassure Argyll that I don't feel in the least patronised or condescended to by Dominic's hilarious write-up, and I'm sorry that she or he (are you in fact the Duke of Argyll?) feels that our lively opinions were a waste of space.

Moreover I'd like to assure whiskygirl that I'm not at all peeved, nor do I feel I've had my intelligence belittled, by the fluffy design. Surely it was simply ironic? As for serious debate, come off it; whisky's supposed to be fun. The major issue facing the Scotch industry is how to get thru to younger drinkers - and no one's going to succeed at THAT by promoting the virtues of 'serious debate'. I've tasted a great deal of rare and unusual whisky over the past 13 years, but would rather die than appear to be a whisky bore.

By the way, I'm hoping this message will be posted in a virulent shade of violet.
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Postby Rudolph Hucker » Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:16 pm

I am, of course, entirely convinced by Kate Patrick's passionate defence of WM and the editor, but I did just wonder... is she the Kate Patrick who has contributed articles to Scotland Magazine, which is published by an associated company of Whisky Magazine, and which shares the same editor?

Cheers

Rudolph
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Postby Iain » Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:28 pm

Well, DR must be doing something right. If WM can stimulate all the opinions, prejudices, outrage and banter that have been flying around in the past few months, then he has surely set off along the right track? And the Mac stand was a brave one, that deserves respect.

Thank goodness the bad old days of Daily Mail-style "lifestyle" pieces, on unknown aristos, teetotal racing drivers and dogs-that-look-like malts (!) are over. Much more fun to read the honest opinions of journos with their own take on whiskies and on happenings in the whisky world.

Better pink than grey! :oops:
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Postby Rudolph Hucker » Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:46 pm

Iain

Hear! Hear!

Well said ( as usual )


Cheers

Rudolph!
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Taking it too far

Postby Argyll » Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:29 pm

You're absolutely right Kate, whisky is not a serious subject, and I feel that my original comments were a little over the top - after all I would love to see the stuffiness taken out of whisky - it should not be seen as only for men!

Just out of interest... Dominic, why didn't you put Iseabail Mactaggart on the cover of whisky mag? Much prettier than Jim McEwan or Jimmy Russell!!!

Also, for the next time you touch on this subject (which should be more often than twice in 5 years) remember that in Norway there is a whisky club that is solely for women. I bet they would have been an interesting addition to your section.

Finally, why not have a feature on the younger drinkers (that other supposedly elusive group of potential drinkers). There are several clubs throughout the world where the average age of members is below 35 (far too young!). There are also several people in the industry who haven't grown beards yet.

Heck, while I'm on it, why not start featuring some of the hundreds and hundreds of whisky clubs throughout the world! Report on the mischief they get up to. Certainly better, more interesting and more relevant than gardeners who just happen to work near a distillery!

Regards,

Argyll
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Postby whiskygirl » Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:48 pm

Kate,

Maybe i didn't put my point across clearly, english was never my strong point at school! :wink:

As a female whisky drinker under 25, i've been surrounded by it for as long as i can remember, and when i started taking it "seriously" i found myself repeatedly banging my head against a brick wall. .........Can you imagine the looks when an 18yo girl asks for a malt in a pub where she's the only female present?.......

Yes, i agree, whisky IS fun, and yes we DO need to get through to the youger drinkers, but i don't feel that the latest issue has managed to do that. I think WM went about it the wrong way. If you want to appeal to the younger drinker, then WRITE about the younger drinker. By that, i mean those under 30. (no offence meant by that remark!!!)

I just don't think that fluffy pink guff is the way to go. You say younger drinkers will be put off by "serious debate" but as a younger drinker, i'm starting to get put off by the attidute of the so called "elders" of the industry. They try their best, but are they actually giving the younger drinker what they want? Have they asked even asked us???

Argyll is right by commenting on the fact that in the past 5 years there have been a mere 2 issues on women. There shouldn't have to be "themes", make women and whisky equal to that of men and whisky. If a woman owns a whisky shop, write about it. If a woman is a brand ambassador, write about her. If a woman is a master blender, brewer etc....
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Postby bond » Fri Sep 10, 2004 1:32 pm

As a female whisky drinker who actively dislikes most of the whiskies that have through the years been dubbed "ladies whiskies" I think we have a right to object to stereotyping - whether or not the design looks good is completely irrelevant.



which are these "ladies whiskies" ??

Have tried in vain for years to get quite a few vodka drinking ladies hooked onto whisky!!

Cheers,

Bond

P.S.- Hope no one finds this question offensive!!!
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Postby Jeroen Kloppenburg » Sat Sep 11, 2004 3:58 pm

I have yet to receive this issue (suprise surpise ;)), but it seems the marketing behind the new Flirtation from Bruichladdich shouldve been discussed in the article (but again, I ahve no idea since I haven't read the article...).

Quote from director Simon Coughlin of Bruichladdich: "It may appeal to women more than the regular brown as some do prefer coloured drinks. The gay market too, maybe they'll be keen."

Oh, oh!

Source: Daily Record
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Postby ragsrobin » Tue Sep 14, 2004 9:33 am

bond wrote:
As a female whisky drinker who actively dislikes most of the whiskies that have through the years been dubbed "ladies whiskies" I think we have a right to object to stereotyping - whether or not the design looks good is completely irrelevant.



which are these "ladies whiskies" ??

Have tried in vain for years to get quite a few vodka drinking ladies hooked onto whisky!!

Cheers,

Bond

P.S.- Hope no one finds this question offensive!!!


Well, I usually hear this about the fairly light whiskies - lowland ones especially, but not exclusively. Two names that spring to mind are Dalwhinnie and Auchetoshan (both of which I would characterise as "undrinkable" myself ;) ), Oban, Glenkinchie and Rosebank are others. Personally I've had better luck with my potential converts when I've tried them on The Macallan or Linkwood - but then most of my converts have been cognac-drinkers already.
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Postby Rudolph Hucker » Tue Sep 14, 2004 11:59 am

Attending the Press launch a couple of years ago for the Famous Grouse Port Wood Finish, I wondered if the fact that it really did not taste like whisky to me could indicate that FG hoped to sell it to non-whisky drinkers, especially women.

If you read Dave Broom's review of the Port Finish in Whiskies of the World on this website, you'll see that he describes it as < sweet and silky >, <very fruity/winey > and asks < Is it Grouse - or something new? >

Clearly offering different versions of any product to suit particular market segments is a well known marketing tactic - for instance, shampoo for greasy hair, dry hair, dandruff etc

Anyone esle tasted the Port Finish?

Cheers

Rudolph
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