Citing Kommersant, news portal Meduza.io reports that the sales of a popular Vodka brand “Putinka” fell by half in the last year. Accordingly, “Putinka’s” market share dropped from 2.74% in July 2015 to 1.36% in May 2016, and the brand slid from its 4th position to number 15 on the list of Russia’s most popular vodkas.
“Putinka” never experienced such a downturn in the entire history of the brand. It appeared on the market in 2003 and within two years became the number one vodka in Russia. “Putinka’s” brand manager lays the blame on its new distributor, “Status-group”, which doesn’t seem to care much about marketing its new acquisition. However, one can imagine there are reasons why forces outside of the market might not want to associate the President’s name with alcohol. According to the unnamed sources, the ultimate beneficiary of “Real-Invest”, the company that owns the “Putinka” brand, is a businessman and Putin’s Judo partner from his youth Arkady Rotenberg. Because of his connections with Putin, Mr. Rotenberg was blacklisted by the U.S. State Department after Russia annexed Crimea.
However, it might be just that “Putinka’s” distributor is doing a lousy job, as other vodka brands distributed by “Status-group” also suffered a decrease in sales.