Payment or advertising demanded for wine reviews?

There have been lots of suspicions and insinuations about this practice here over the years, but here’s a direct claim by a journalist who covers the drinks business, based on PR industry sources, that some publications demand payment before they’ll review wines.

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Oh my god, who knew!? :scream:
And there’s apocryphal tales even years ago of a certain magazine’s writers cars being fitted with automatic boot openers that activate when they drive to Bordeaux chateaux.
It’s quite a while since I’ve bought a wine magazine.

Moody’s, S&P etc. call them ‘surveillance fees’ and ask that issuers pay them to ensure ongoing coverage.

I thought there were upfront fees for a rating?

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?? Based on my experience and checking in with colleagues, we’ve never had this come up for The Wine Advocate, Wine Enthusiast, Suckling, Vinous, Wine and Spirits, International Wine Report, etc. (No upfront fees.) But once you get your review and score, some reviewers’ marketing dept. folks will reach out to see if you want to pay for placement of your review and score in the magazine, or the website, or their social media/email list, etc., or the premium “all of the above” package, depending on the company. To be clear, not all even do this marketing pitch.

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[Arv_R]
Moody’s, S&P etc. call them ‘surveillance fees’ and ask that issuers pay them to ensure ongoing coverage.

Hey, that is essential to ensuring the kind of robust, independent financial scrutiny that we’ve come to expect from the ratings agencies!

[Tom_G_l_a_s_g_o_w]
I thought there were upfront fees for a rating?

I recall that Wine Spectator charged a significant fee to restaurants to be included in their awards, but I hadn’t heard about any explicit demand for an upfront fee for any publication for reviews. (Note: The third tweet above says that one unnamed publication explicitly demanded advertising in order to get ratings.)

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Agree with David. After a review is done, I’ve been asked if I want to pay some $$ for some premium placement in a mag, but it had nothing to do with the score itself.

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I charge upfront fees for my CellarTracker reviews. :champagne::wink:

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I am shocked! Shocked! :wink:

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With most or all of those publications, and others, you need to pay for a business subscription, which is a higher price, to allow you to quote the score.

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I do recall back when I read these things observing subjectively a sort of correlation in Wine Speculator between gloomy adverts and coverage in articles. Could just be reticular activating system, no data.

The magazine I referred to in previous post has not been named by anyone in this thread. Yet.

Paying to get wines reviewed and for poor reviews to not be published all seem fine so long as you can’t pay to get more favorable reviews.

I was referring to rating agencies

[Tom_G_l_a_s_g_o_w]
I was referring to rating agencies

Ha! Which I guess just reinforces Arv’s point!

Wait til you learn how “The Prisoner” has a higher rating than Chateau Palmer on Vivino
Heh

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