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The Friends of Laphroaig celebrates its 400,000 member

Published:  10 June, 2010

The Friends of Laphroaig, on and off-line community, has shown the strength of its marketing tool by reaching 400,000 members worldwide.

First established in 1994, its membership now includes members from 161 countries.

Maxxium UK's marketing manager for Scotch, Bob Dalrymple said: "The Friends of Laphroaig has grown to become a phenomenal success by creating an exclusive network of like-minded whisky connoisseurs.  It's a fantastic marketing tool as it allows us to communicate directly with a large number of target consumers while encouraging word of mouth among potential new drinkers. Its success is due to the nature of the scheme which offers members genuine benefits and allows them to feel close to the brand and those that create it without ever being overt or intrusive."

Friends are each given a square foot of land on Islay and invited to the distillery to collect their rent - a dram of Laphroaig. They are kept informed with regular newsletters from distillery manager John Campbell, who ensures they are the first to know about new bottlings and events and have exclusive access to special Laphroaig Cáirdeas editions, Cáirdeas meaning 'friends' in Gaelic. 

Laphroaig, is distributed in the UK by Maxxium UK, and currently out-performing the category in the UK off trade with 9% volume and 12% value growth year on year.