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Backlash over 'not Catalan' cava salesman

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Backlash over 'not Catalan' cava salesman
Photo of two glasses of sparkling wine: Shutterstock
15:56 CET+01:00
A man has found himself in hot water after his branding strategy – to advertise cava as "not Catalan" so that "people who aren't fans of Catalan separatists" will buy it – went viral.

The man, known only as Tomás, said he had started the branding strategy "to sell more" because "people associated Catalan cava with the separatists", reported Catalan daily, La Vanguardia.

His actions have forced the Valencian vineyard that makes the sparkling wine to "completely reject" the unusual marketing strategy.

Atenció al camió de repartiment de la bodega valenciana "Pago de Tharsys" #cavaNOcatalán pic.twitter.com/UV4Xtz0Vl2

The man has been selling cava from the Valencian vineyard, Pago de Tharsys, which has distanced itself from both him and his branding strategy since the story hit Spanish social media recently.

The vineyard has stressed that the branding was all Tomás’ idea and had nothing to do with them.

"Due to their feelings about Catalan separatists, people don’t want to buy Catalan cava. My stock has completely sold out," Tomás was quoted as saying, in La Vanguardia.

Tomás has received threatening calls and insults since the story hit social media. He has saved the messages and is thinking about a possible police complaint.

The manager of the Pago de Tharsys vineyard, Ana Súria, said the photograph circulating on social media that showed Tomás sales technique "was of no benefit to anybody".

"We have never launched an advertising campaign like this and we don´t use confrontation to sell. Our strategy is to emphasize the quality and prestige (of the product) and not its origin."

The Valencian vineyard has contacted Tomás to complain about his particular marketing style but is unable to officially report him to police as "he’s not strictly lying". 

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