New ideas

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1974 is the year of my photography diploma. I lived the following years of many experiences: set up my own studio where I made portraits, weddings, reprographies, school photos etc... worked in a beer distribution box, commercial in a photo-video equipment store , and I was even a salesman in a luxury boutique…

Beginning of 80 - I left everything behind and found a job in an aerial photo company in Mérignac, thanks to which I discovered Bordeaux’s wine-growing heritage. I meet an owner who, judging me to be proactive, suggests that I create a magazine about wine with him. The adventure will last 4 years after which I will become a correspondent for a Swiss wine magazine, then for two German magazines, here in Bordeaux…

In 1986 - Havas (the big com agency) having heard of my performance, recruited me as development director. I have been entrusted with a mission: to find funding for the WHO’S WHO of Editions Jacques Lafitte, for the south-west regional edition; mission that I accomplish successfully...

In 1987, a position becomes available, still at Havas, but in Morocco. Story of a change of air, I postulate. I take care of a lot of consumer budgets: TV advertising, detergents, cleaning products, mineral water, sodas, chewing gum etc… After a year, of this crazy work, I decide to return to France.

At the beginning of 88, I set up as a freelancer. I create company logos, brochures, poster campaigns, press announcements and wine labels. It will last until 90 then I decide, on the advice of my lifelong friend, Jacques Théo to structure my activity, to create my box and to recruit collaborators. One very early morning, inspired, I take a pen, and in one stroke, I draw what will be the identity of my company: CLASS, just the acronym of Claude Lada and ASSociates…

From 90 to 93, I created with two journalist friends my real business: the production of press kits and photo libraries, intended to feed the media, for prestigious castles in Bordeaux such as: Cheval Blanc, Pavie, Léoville Barton, Léoville Poyferré, Montrose, Calon Ségur, Canon La Gaffelière and about fifty other customers who will also entrust us with this mission.

In 93, having a large mass of information, I decided to create the annual magazine BORDEAUX NEWS, bilingual French-English, (then trilingual with Mandarin in 2006), it will be distributed during all Vinexpo fairs in France but also in Hong Kong. At the same time, I buy the first website creation software in the USA, train myself in this new technology and create my first site for one of our clients. The agency

becomes the first structure to be connected to ADSL in Bordeaux. Several FRANCE TELECOM sales representatives will come to visit us to find out “how it works”…

In 1994, creation of BORDEAUX FLAVEURS, a monthly, without advertising, solely devoted to the tasting of Bordeaux wines. I brought together a college of professional tasters: Yves Glories, the dean of the oenology faculty at the time, Denis and Franck Dubourdieu, Michel Rolland, Philippe Faure Brac, best sommelier in the world, and many others, and their offers monthly blind tastings, in a neutral location (so as not to be pressured by winegrowers). At the end of each tasting, I collected the copies and asked one of my collaborators to make a summary that we published and distributed in newsstands, on the national level... But the bad marks of certain «great wines» and the threats from their owner got the better of this initiative. The magazine will cease to appear a year later, despite an undeniable success of esteem. End of 94, release of version 1.0 from the website

From 95 to 2001, realization of a multitude of press announcements, websites and production, after a very serious preparation, interactive CDROMs with the net. We will produce 5 editions including a Japanese one shown at Vinexpo Tokyo. At the same time, I am creating an experimental site dedicated to video and wine from around the world on the net in 8 languages, which covers all the wine regions on the 5 continents. The observation: there

are a good number of videos, well done, in all modern wine properties. But who is watching them? At the same time, I also created my small video production company and made several short films, always in the environment of Bordeaux wines.

In 2002, Vinexpo had the bad idea of organizing a show in New York… Knowing the Americans in terms of media, I never imagined going to fight in their category. I then had the idea of publishing a beautiful art book, around wine, with 30 Grands Crus, of asking Alain Juppé for his preface and of offering all my wine merchant clients this beautiful work intended to all their American customers. : great promotional operation for my clients and hyper-targeted distribution.

In 2003, the crisis continued and my clients encouraged me to find a way to sell their wines. I am creating a new medium for the general public called BORDEAUX EN LIVE. Initially, this medium was to be distributed as a bundle in the Revue des Vins de France. But the editor at the time, jealous as a louse, blocked the contract signed with the marketing people. No big deal, I immediately proposed the said concept to their direct competitor, CUISINE ET VINS DE FRANCE, with a much more impactful audience. 2005, Organization and total management of the DALI exhibition at MONTROSE. The owner of the time asks me to organize an event in his castle; It was good, I had just met Robert Descharnes, the biographer of Salvador Dali, who gave me the keys to his

photo library: I extracted 100 unpublished photos of the Master. Framed and highlighted in a room fully furnished by me, the images will be the subject of the edition of a beautiful catalog, which we sold at profit from charity. Inspired by soft watches, I also created the poster and the communication. This exhibition tours around the world via the heirs of Robert Descharnes.

At the end of 2005, a short trip to mainland China, where I had a feeling that something was going to happen...As soon as I got back, I looked for and found a Mandarin teacher (who would become my assistant for 9 years) and I started to study Chinese …

2006 - After a market study, I notice that there is practically nothing around publications on wine in this huge continent. I decide to edit and distribute the BORDEAUX NEWS magazine in its Chinese version. The first edition will be distributed at the GUANGZHOU fair (Canton) with a very strong impact. The presence of Chinese President Hu Jintao in the columns will undoubtedly be there for something...

From 2007 to 2008, I edit the magazine and take care of its promotion all over China and at the same time produce a good number of institutional brochures and press advertisements on behalf of my wine clients, as well as websites in real Mandarin in the text: serious because translated by Chinese academics.

2009 - Still in China, I publish a little red book of 400 pages on Bordeaux wines in a Mandarin

version...and at the same time I unearth a very useful and ideal partner for its distribution: Tibetan mineral water. This mineral water is the official drink of the Chinese Communist Party and is distributed free of charge in all Chinese TGVs. In addition, it is also sold in large restaurants and in large Chinese groups. A great opportunity that I am seizing for the distribution of this guide and future publications…

After 4 years spent traveling China, I realize that the best way to sell wine to the Chinese (because they only drink tea at the table) is to combine their cuisines and our wines. Stroke of luck I meet the Chinese “Jean Pierre Coffe”: Jiang Liang. Well-known journalist on TV, he explains to me in two spoonfuls, what Chinese cuisine is and the characteristics of the 10 major culinary regions of the Middle Kingdom. It was enough for me to have the idea of publishing a beautiful book, bilingual, around the association of Chinese cuisine and great wines of France. What I did. I first contacted José Frèche, the boss of the France Pavilion at the Universal Expo in Shanghai, which was to take place the following year. A hundred of my clients trusted me for this unique and original edition.

2010 - I publish this beautiful book, prefaced by the Ambassador of France in China and, icing on the cake, the Ambassador of China in France. On the day of the inauguration of French Pavilion, provided by Alain Juppé, José Frèche asked me if I could offer the journalists present this beautiful work: Beautiful and extensive media coverage (TV, press...)...

2011 - I feel like my wings are growing, and I plan to publish a guide to French wines in Mandarin. I stick to it and all my clients follow me. I extend my exploration to others wine regions and string a beautiful 400-page pocket guide for which I ask to Jean Pierre Raffarin (the Ad Hoc person) to provide the preface, which he did with pleasure and eagerness.

2012 - I edit BORDEAUX NEWS with an exclusive interview with Sun Dongmei, Mao’s granddaughter. At the same time I am publishing 3 guides: a Cognac guide in Chinese and its French version and also the second edition of the Bordeaux wine guide in Mandarin version.

2013 - Edition of BORDEAUX NEWS with in the same issue COGNAC NEWS. A double issue that has since become collector’s item distributed throughout the USA and China and also in 100 palaces, large hotels and golf courses in Aquitaine.

2013 bis - Under license with the venerable Maison Larousse, after having formed a Franco-Chinese staff and after 2 years of effort, I publish the GRAND LAROUSSE DU VIN in its Mandarin version.

2014 - Between China and France, there is Russia: I take a break in Moscow and publish the Russian version of the Cognac guide. Distributed to the top 10 Russian alcohol import companies, officially launched at the Moscow book fair, then promoted during the organization of a master class in partnership with the French Institute of Russia in Saint Petersburg. The icing on the cake: the distribution of the guide was also effective at the MBS show in Moscow, the only Russian bartending show!

2015 - The energy of China seems to me to go down again... I turn to the USA, where again, I enter by the right door. I interview the boss of the WSWA, the lobby for the importation of wine and spirits. Following which I publish and distribute to all the actors of this association PRESS CONTACT a pocket guide, which is in fact a synthesis of the tasting comments of the American media. Because, as it is explained to me, the importers have a “branded spirits” culture and rely exclusively to what the US magazines tell them about wine... At the same time I edit BORDEAUX NEW CENTURY a pocket guide, distributed at the WSWA convention in Orlando, Florida, but also in Los Angeles, And as I still fishing, I publish the US version of the Cognac guide.

2016 - Third edition of PRESS CONTACT in the USA, and at the same time I am diversifying my activity and my know-how... because I have been interested in alternative medicine for a long time and turn to this subject... After a study around my home (#Gironde) I list the professionals in this universe - sophrologists, osteopaths, chiropractors etc… and I am publishing a pocket guide that I officially launch at the Club of the Press of Bordeaux (December 14) and that I distribute in 70 organic stores in the department. You can still easily find it on Google.

2017 - During the production of the alternative medicine guide, I meet different people on the periphery of these care activities: first magnetizers, then healers, numerologists, astrologers, mediums... On the advice of four of the latter, I launches the publication of a guide on the the-

me of “spiritual sciences” out of the 12 departments of New Aquitaine. Needless to say, that it is not easy to separate the good grain from the chaff…but relying on my intuition, I list more than 650 professionals, and as I do my job until the end, I call everything the world and I eliminate more than 350 of them (with the training that I have, in ten seconds we see to whom we are dealing). The guide was launched with - great - success at the Club de la presse de Bordeaux on June 14th.

2017 Bis: the EMCC, the association of certified professional coaches in France, entrusts me with the production of its regional guide and its dedicated site.

2018 - Development of a new activity, totally up my alley: 360° virtual tours, Google approved, and enriched by me...

2019 - I get my badge from Tripadvisor_Contributor

2020 - I join with great enthusiasm the whole team of the portal Site dedicated to leisure, tourism, culture and wine :

791,000 unique visitors/year

938,900 page views

Google Analytics

I run the wine tourism section and do interviews, portraits, podcasts, virtual tours...

2022 - I’m still here with a new and beautiful graphic charter

Take a dip

2023 - There is an end to everything: retirement has just come. I have strived throughout my professional life to promote, with beautiful images and appropriate communication, collectives, whether in the wine sector or elsewhere. I bow out, leaving a France in ruins, full of various conflicts...

And as Woody Allen says, eternity is a long time, especially towards the end...


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