Fri. Feb 3rd, 2023


Standing out on shelves is vital for brands to appeal to consumers, so getting design and packaging spot on is crucial. Luckily, many producers are excelling in this arena, as our competition shows.

They say the first taste is with the eyes, meaning appearance is everything if you want to stand out in today’s competitive spirits market. A bottle’s aesthetic can make or break that all‐important first sell – and with a consumer audience paying close attention to sustainability, a product’s eco‐friendly packaging is of high value.

This year’s Design & Packaging Masters took place with all the necessary physical distancing measures in place, in line with government guidelines. In London, Bryan Rodriguez, wine and spirits buyer for Harvey Nichols, joined me, Melita Kiely, editor of The Spirits Business and chair of the event, at the Novotel London Bridge. The second half of our judging team joined us virtually over

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Taylor Swift has previewed a re-recorded version of her song Love Story in an advert created by Ryan Reynolds’ production company Maximum Effort, for dating site

Swift announced the tie up via Twitter yesterday, writing: “Okay so while my new re-records are NOT done, my friend @VancityReynolds asked me if he could use a snippet of one for a LOLsome commercial he wrote so…here’s a sneak peak of Love Story! Working hard to get the music to you soon!!

Swift announced last year that she planned to re-record her masters for commercial exploitation – something she was believed to be contractually free to do from November 2020) onwards – after Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings acquired all of Big Machine (and its Taylor Swift masters) for a sum believed to amount to $330m in June 2019.

In December 2019 Swift confirmed that she was blocking sync uses of her classic

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3rd December, 2020
Patrick Schmitt

With the judging now finished for this year’s Rioja Masters we can bring you the results in full, listing all the medallists, and drawing attention to the best Riojas on sale in 2020, whatever the style and category.

There’s a place in the wine world that’s proving particularly resilient in its popularity. Unlike the rise and fall of many a mainstream vinous source, from Chianti to claret, California rosé to German Riesling, the demand for Rioja, particularly in its reserva form, just won’t die down, despite its near ubiquitous state. Rather, it’s still a growing category, spearheaded by many strong brands, from Campo Viejo and Marqués de Cáceres to Faustino and Riscal. After years of chairing our annual Rioja Masters, and confirmed in particular this year, I think I know the reason for such enduring appeal. It’s primarily a question of style and value.

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) UL Lafayette is recognizing its top scholars as Outstanding Master Graduates.

David Allen is the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s overall Outstanding Master’s Graduate.

He was among five finalists for the award. Each will be recognized at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9, during a Fall 2020 Commencement ceremony for the Graduate School at Cajun Field.

The ceremony is among nine ceremonies that will be held over two days beginning Tuesday, Dec. 8. In addition to the Graduate School, ceremonies will be held for the University’s eight academic colleges.

Graduate programs nominate one student as their Outstanding Master’s Graduate. Criteria include leadership, scholarship, service and research.

The dean of UL Lafayette’s Graduate School leads a panel that selects the top candidates. An Alumni Association committee interviews the finalists and chooses an overall Outstanding Master’s Graduate.

Allen is this year’s overall honoree. In addition, he represents the School

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Photo: peeterv/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Route Masters signs up to UK program SPRINT to develop an innovative transport management solution for African cities

Route Masters, based at the European Space Agency BIC UK in Harwell in Oxfordshire, has signed up to the national SPRINT (SPace Research and Innovation Network for Technology) business support programme to develop an innovative transport management solution for African cities.

Funding from SPRINT will enable Route Masters to collaborate with the University of Leicester on building a full suite of technology tools and algorithmic data models. This will help the company to achieve its aim of becoming the largest integrated public-transport platform for emerging African megacities.

Route Masters is developing an algorithm based on single-band GNSS positioning within cities. The solution will deliver transport flow models superimposed on satellite-based city maps. The technology utilises applied mathematics to build digital route maps that will accurately deliver journey

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If a Mount Rushmore-type monument is ever created for the audio industry, Cary Christie’s likeness will likely be sculpted into Hi-Fi Mountain. Indeed, the industry owes him a lot. His list of industry firsts includes: electrostatic speaker, an adjustable-length soundbar, servo-controlled subwoofer, affordable high-performance planar speaker, electromagnetic induction tweeter, speaker using neodymium magnet, Class D amplifier, and high-compliance tone arm for turntables. Yes — Christie had a hand in creating all those pieces of equipment that many integrators probably take for granted today.

A Navy brat growing up, Christie spent his high school years in Hawaii, mostly surfing and playing guitar occasionally. In the late 1960s, he moved to Southern California to attend UCLA and was working three jobs on the side.

“My goal was to be a high-paid beach bum. But I looked around and I couldn’t find any jobs that were listed under high- paying beach bum,” he

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Eric Harper “blames” his career on his parents.

“When I was 12 or 13 years old, I got a Radio Shack 160-in-1 Kit for Christmas. It had the little spring-loaded connections with a little jumper wires and a big book that told you how to make an AM radio. I still tell my parents today that I blame that gift for my career,” he jokes. “From that day on, most of the toys I played with were electronic. The next thing you know I had a Little Merlin and it really got me wondering what made stuff tick … what made it work.”

From there, the writing was on the wall. Harper was soon tearing apart and installing car stereos. That love of electronics led him to pursue an Electrical Engineering degree at Duke University.

“About halfway through my senior year at Duke I realized engineering was not really what

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NEW YORK, Nov. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Michael Kempner, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of leading public relations agency MWWPR – formerly known as MWW – is featured in the latest episode of PR Masters Series Podcast. The series is in its second year of production in an ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO, bringing PR, digital and marketing communications agencies the insights of the top industry professionals.


In this interview hosted by Art Stevens of The Stevens Group, Kempner unpacks the founding and growth of MWWPR amidst a background in politics and chocolate-making; the philosophies that have carried his 34 year career; and more secrets to his success in business and the ever-changing communications industry.

Kempner’s firm was recently recognized as one of America’s Best PR Agencies of 2021 by Forbes, and he is an honoree of the PRWeek Class of 2020 Hall of Fame, a

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Ann Boden, the boss of Starling Bank, has been named as chief executive of the year at the Digital Masters Awards, having been selected by some of Europe’s leading venture capital firms.

Ms Boden landed the prestigious prize after beating off competition from names including MessageBird chief executive Robert Vis and the boss of online will startup Farewill, Dan Garrett. 

Executives from companies including Accel, Balderton, Hoxton Ventures and KKR selected the winners in the categories, which also included “excellence in finance” and “excellence in technology”.

The awards were presented virtually this year, due to Covid-19 restrictions.

It is the seventh year the awards have been run, organised by executive search firm The Up Group. Last year, chief executive of the year went to Clare Gilmartin, from

Ms Boden picks up the award after a year in which Starling Bank finally managed to become profitable, netting £800,000 in profit

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While most components of the golf world have enjoyed a renaissance through the pandemic — tee sheets are booked, club manufacturers can’t keep shelves stocked, coaches are in high demand — there is one bit of mildly disturbing news when it comes to the TV ratings for 2020’s three majors.

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The PGA Championship in August saw fairly flat overall numbers and both the U.S. Open and Masters saw dramatic drops in 2020 when it came to TV ratings.

Fluke? Coincidence? Or a worrisome trend?

It’s tough to say for certain, but here are a number of factors that might have contributed to the ratings flop:

a man wearing a hat: U.S. Open

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U.S. Open

Bryson DeChambeau celebrates with the championship trophy after winning the 120th U.S. Open Championship on Sept. 19, 2020 at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The jumbled schedule

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