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June 15, 2004

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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Clos du Val Winery Uses Barter Strategy With Hollywood

Clos du Val, a small maker of premium wine, could never afford to hire a star of Tom Hanks stature as an endorser. But by devoting 240 cases of its 65,000-case annual production as Hollywood freebies, the winery has won dozens of stealth product placements near big-time celebrities.

In last year’s Academy Award-nominated film 21 Grams, Sean Penn contemplates death over a bottle of the Napa winery’s Cabernet. James Gandolfini serves Clos du Val in the HBO mob drama The Sopranos. Ray Romano pours it on the CBS sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. Malinda Williams sipped it in the Showtime series Soul Food.

Clos du Val is in the minds of Hollywood bigwigs...primarily by figuring out which directors, actors, and prop masters should get bartered wine. The winery offers up cases of Clos du Val to be served at premieres and other showbiz galas.

Do the winery’s bartering efforts pay off? Apparently. The company’s wine sales in the first quarter of this year were almost 50% higher than a year ago.

And there is a long term payoff as well, thanks to technology, because Clos du Val’s product placement gains new life when television shows hit syndication and when movies and TV programs become DVDs.


Red Bull Follows Similar Path

Red Bull, a high-octane energy drink known for its popularity at bars and clubs, is branching out and targeting golfers by sponsoring the PGA European Tour. Players will be served free Red Bull at all tour events. There will also be a traveling trailer, the “Red Bull Physio Unit,” where the company will treat tired golfers.

To broaden its market, Red Bull is also handing out free cans to commuters, cab drivers, and car-rental agencies to promote the drink as a way to stay alert on the road.


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You Won’t Believe This Trade...

Six Bottles Of J&B Scotch For Lou Gehrig’s Uniform

Barry Halper, a New Jersey collector of sports memorabilia, made one of the greatest trades ever when he bartered six bottles of J&B Scotch with Lou Gehrig’s wife for her husband’s uniform.

It was the flannel pin-stripped New York Yankee uniform worn by Gehrig 65 years ago, when the first baseman declared himself, “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

In July, 1999 Halper auctioned off the uniform for over $450,000!


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BarterOne Says Older Technology Still Very Important For Traders

BarterOne of Charleston (SC) has announced its intentions to supplement broadcast e-mails to its members with “snail (postal) mail” as well as fax technology.

According to IT Director Tim Ross, “With the amount of unwanted e-mail our members are receiving daily, it is no wonder our message is getting lost, or deleted, as spam-blockers gain in popularity.”

Inasmuch as trade exchange bartering is about availability, the need to reach members in a timely manner with useful information is of utmost importance...otherwise the potential deal may never come to fruition.


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New Banking Law Affects Small Businesses

This fall, October 28, a new banking law goes into effect. The “Check 21” banking law will change the way many firms do business—not only with banks, but with customers and suppliers, too.

Succinctly, Check 21 will enable the nation’s banking system to be more flexible, as banks will no longer have to transport original checks between institutions. Instead, the new law will let banks transfer and print electronic facsimiles of the checks.

Bottomline: When the law takes effect it could theoretically cut the time it takes a check to clear from days to hours. Small businesses who relied on a float-period will be facing a new world. Just another reason for embracing barter...thus avoiding expensive overdrafts, in addition to embarrassment and possible loss of business.


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Follow-up—May 18th Tuesday Report “Is Homesourcing The Answer...?”

A Rush To Rural America For Call Centers

In that May 18th article on outsourcing we reported on JetBlue Airways’ 700 reservation agents in the U.S. working from their homes. Now reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and corporate America, indicate that the number of workers at U.S. call centers have increased slightly this year after a six year slump. And leading the way, as U.S. companies continue to search for cheap labor and locations for call centers, are America’s small towns.

Simply by moving out of major cities to less-populated areas, where real estate and labor are cheaper, U.S. companies are finding they can save millions of dollars. Not only do small towns have an eager labor force, but they often have vacant warehouses and supermarkets that are suited to call centers’ wide-open layouts. And with the high-bandwidth fiber-optic cable additions over the last decade, the rush to rural America is underway.


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Here & There...

  • The city of San Francisco and California exchanged some $15 million in grants and incentives with Virgin USA, a startup discount airline backed by British entrepreneur Richard Branson, so they would base their operations in San Francisco. Virgin USA is expected to hire about 1,800 workers in the next two years.
  • Microsoft recently bartered $75,000 in technology products and services to two companies (winners of a contest with 10 to 50 employees) in exchange for their 500-word essay as to why their company deserved the prize.

    Microsoft’s “Technology Makeover Contest” was focused on demonstrating its capabilities for complex office technology for smaller companies. (California-based Alliance Portfolio of Newport Beach and Laguna Niguel and Houston-based Anciso’s Concrete Specialists were the national winners out of 7,000 entries.)
  • According to a recent poll by Harris Interactive, people in the Western United States are the country’s workaholics. Not only do 56 percent work more than 40 hours a week, but 27 percent are forfeiting more than a week of vacation.
  • Ad spending at airports nationwide climbed to $192.5 million in 2003, almost double the $100.4 million spent in 1993. That kept pace with the rise in outdoor advertising on billboards and at transit locations. Advertisers spent a total of $5.5 billion on outdoor advertising last year, compared with $2.87 billion in 1993.
  • Denver-based Thought Equity is providing a needed service to promotion-starved small companies—high-quality commercials that have been produced for clients who no longer want them. Thought Equity has an online library of ready-to-recycle commercials, collected from more than 300 ad agencies.

    The company handles rights and royalties and ensures that an ad is resold only once within a region. So a small company can obtain a slick commercial on the cheap, while agencies earn extra cash if their ads are reused.
  • Have you signed up to receive a summary via e-mail of the Tuesday Report every week? If not, go to the top of this issue (right hand corner) and sign up!
  • Worldwide military spending rose 11% last year to $956 billion with the Iraq conflict helping to push the U.S. share to nearly half that figure, a Swedish peace Institute reports.
  • Hotel rates are rising. But aggregate U.S. hotel profits, which peaked in 2000 at roughly $23 billion, are still 23% or so from their highs with profits expected to be near $18 billion this year. The greatest price rises will be deluxe hotels with increases approaching four percent. Economy hotels’ prices are expected to increase only one percent.
  • Back in 1981 when Ronald Reagan began his presidency, people were saving almost 10% of their income. Now the savings rate is 2.4%. And back then homeowners owned 69% of the equity in their homes. Now they own 55%. Also, consumer credit as a percentage of personal income has surged today.
  • The National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation reports that insurance captured the top three spots on a list of problems facing U.S. small businesses. Health, liability, and worker’s compensation insurance most worry business owners.
  • The number of U.S. businesses with no paid employees increased to 17.6 million. (Nonemployers include 15.3 million sole proprietorships, 1.1 million partnerships, and 1.2 million corporations that do not file payroll taxes.)
  • If you've missed any of our weekly Tuesday Reports the past five years we have an archive of issues for you at the bottom of this week's letter...check it out!
We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
Copyright BarterNews 2004. Redistribution of BarterNews content expressly prohibited without the prior written permission of BarterNews.

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