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Corporate sponsorships in the wine industry are often accompanied by donations intended to tick social responsibility boxes while the marketing folk get on with optimising the marketing value of the headline investment. There’s nothing wrong with that: brand money has to buy some form of reach if shareholders are to get an appropriate return on this form of expenditure.

Often the less visible charitable gestures are life-changing, because the department responsible for that decision is adept at securing real value for the beneficiaries, and is not simply preparing a plausible answer for the management committee. Very rarely, these efforts yield a result that outshines the commercial sponsorship...

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