Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Pancho Campo's new law – defamation etc. by vague association

Pancho Campo MW - 'the Dubai fugitive'

I have to admit feeling slightly sorry for Pancho Campo MW over Murciagate. The poor man has been on the back-foot ever since the story broke with the publication of the Asevin tariff email (4.10.11) on Facebook on 26th October. His initial ploy – ‘I haven’t talked to Jumilla’ – was understandably short-lived. Since then he has twisted and turned – threatened legal action, produced a half-baked market seminar. Never fully aware of how much information has been leaked.  

His latest effort, in response to a clarification from Victor de la Serna (elmundodelvino) that various Murcia bodegas had indeed confirmed that the email (4.10.11) was genuine, has been to claim: 'We were also asked to conduct a tasting of Monastrell grapes and wines of Murcia, possibly with the participation of Jay Miller.' 'Possibly with the participation of Jay Miller'! All the contemporaneous emails cite a definite visit by Jay Miller in his official role as reviewer for The Wine Advocate.

Such are the contortions that poor Campo has been obliged to perform that it is evident that he can no longer think straight. Who could with their left knee clamped around their right ear?!

Recently he contacted a committee member of the Circle of Wine Writers (CWW) to warn that if there was legal action against me in Spain the 'Circle might be implicated' due to 'third party liability'. Not that Campo was bringing this legal action but there were 'murmurings of action' by certain unnamed parties.

Although I am editor of Circle Update, the newsletter of the CWW, there has been no mention of Murciagate or of Campo's previous escapades – the escape from Dubai etc – in the magazine. Everything about Murciagate/Jumillagate has been posted on Jim's Loire with no involvement whatsoever from the CWW. The suggestion that the Circle might be 'implicated' is legally illiterate, which Campo would know full well if his knee wasn't currently pressed against his right ear. 

The new Campo "law" of 'defamation etc. by association' is utterly absurd. It would mean, for example, that if Jancis Robinson MW wrote something that was judged to be libellous on her website then The Financial Times, where she has a regular column, could also be sued even if the offending item had not been published by the FT

And would it stop there? I have a Nectar card (a type of loyalty card) issued through supermarket J.Sainsbury plc. Should I inform them that they might be sued by Campo –  'implicated' by association because I shop with them? What then of my credit card providers?   

This is not the first time I have been threatened indirectly with legal action by Campo or his associates. Twice in the summer of 2010 Decanter magazine was informed that legal action against me was being contemplated. Absolutely zilch happened. Initially back in September 2009 Campo thought he could buy my silence by inviting me to the 2010 edition of Vinoble to speak on sweet Loire wines. When that didn't work he has resorted in moments of desperation to try to put the squeeze on people for whom I work. 

In a word – despicable.   





James F said...

Jim, i guess, using similar logic, there's a sporting chance that you might be sued by Campo Viejo!

Jim's Loire said...

Campo's new 'law' sets up all sorts of possibilities. Boom time for lawyers!

Eckhard Supp said...

It's always astonishing to see what kind of personalities the wine business is associated to, running by dozens, hundreds or thousands whenever they organize "journalist's visits" or "international conferences". Seems as if laws an ethics were not valid for our dear wine producers. Shame on all of you, dear friends in the wine world.

Hervé LALAU said...

Increible! What defamation? No one reproaches Mr Campo anything in his role of wine impresario.
That his clients accept his propositions is something else.

Jim's Loire said...

Eckhard. Thanks. The Spanish producers are desperate to get to the man they think can help sell their wine but they have to get past the gatekeeper first.

Jim's Loire said...

Hervé – Defamation or publishing the 4th October email 'implicated' by association.

Michel Smith said...

We are all "associates" in this case, Jim ! The guy could sue the whole world it would not change a grape of his now established worldwide reputation...

Jim's Loire said...

Merci Michel. Amitiés Jim

Alexil28 said...

I hate when people can't face the facts and they're going around threatening other people with ridiculous lawsuits.

Man up! :)

Jim's Loire said...

Thanks Alex. Jim