Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Yellow Tail = Epic Fail

Raise your hand if you drink wine.... 

Now raise your hand if you've ever purchased Yellow Tail wine....

Now raise your hand if you plan to purchase any more Yellow Tail wine...

And finally, raise your hand if you support the Humane Society of the United States (clarification: the HSUS is NOT affiliated with your local animal shelters)...

Hmmm... I'm guessing most of you that are in the know lowered your hand on those last two.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, let me give you a short explanation.

I've mentioned before on here how HSUS isn't what they portray themselves to be.  They spend 95% of their budget on travel and lobbying against family farmers and ranchers.  Less than one-half of 1% of the funds raised actually go to helping animals.  Nothing surprising for us there, but some people get swept away by their flashy and elaborate web pages and ads filled with lies and distortions.  Looks like Yellow Tail is one of them.

Yellow Tail wine is a brand owned by Casella Wines, a family-owned and operated winery that goes back for six generations. Until last week, they were the Cinderella story of the wine world, having gone from small family beginnings to international distributor of Yellow Tail wine. Then they made a mistake... a BIG mistake, that has certainly cost them their reputation and could end up costing them their business.

The Australian-based winery decided to donate $100,000 to HSUS for their Tails for Tails program.  The backlash from US consumers was quick and vehement. Within hours of the announcement, Yellow Tail was hit with a blizzard of e-mails and the Yellow Tail fan page on Facebook quickly filled with strong statements of condemnation. Hundreds of Yellow Tail drinkers said they were pouring the wine down the drain and would never buy the product again.  A Yellow Fail fan page was even created, and within a few days had over 2,000 fans. 

People are not happy about this.  How can a company that is based in agriculture support a a group that is trying to end it as we know it?  Yellow Tail may not raise cattle, pigs or corn, but they DO raise a crop.  And without that crop they wouldn't even have a business. 

Yellow Tail officials attempted to do damage control, but their response fell far short of the mark: “We’ve listened to your recent feedback and it was very helpful to us - in fact it prompted us to specifically choose the areas where we’d most like to celebrate animals. Here’s what we’ve decided: We’ll still honor our monetary commitment to the HSUS, but now we are specifically directing our $100,000 donation to HSUS’ Animal Rescue Team, which launches on-the-ground missions to rescue animals in peril.” 

The problem with this?  Let's look at one of the truths about HSUS and go back to Hurricane Katrina... HSUS raised a reported $34 million in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, supposedly to help reunite lost pets with their owners. But comparatively little of that money was spent for its intended purpose. Louisiana’s Attorney General shuttered his 18-month-long investigation into where most of these millions went, shortly after HSUS announced its plan to contribute $600,000 toward the construction of an animal shelter on the grounds of a state prison. Public disclosures of the disposition of the $34 million in Katrina-related donations add up to less than $7 million. 

So they may say they are putting that $100,000 to Animal Rescue, but is that where the money is really going?  Probably not.

Let's cut to the chase.  Yellow Tail made a big mistake that has now cost them many customers, including myself.  If you feel the same way I do, then go to their Facebook page and let your thoughts be heard.  Pass the word along and don't buy anymore Yellow Tail!  Let's not support the HSUS agenda.

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