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Italian wine labels with controversial imagery shock and offend

Printing high quality wine labels is supposed to accomplish several different tasks, one of them creating a memorable brand image for both the company and the consumer. However, differing perceptions can affect the way a label is perceived. What is run-of-the mill to one person may seem outrageous to another. And if your purpose is to shock, you should be prepared for repercussions.

One vintage has provoked cries to have it discontinued, despite having been available for decades, according to the New York Times. The Vini Lunardelli brand is facing criticism for its wine labels that depict images of prominent members of the Nazi party on the bottles of the “Furherwein” line.

The Lunardelli family, owners and producers of this vintage, apparently do so with good intentions and don’t mean for the images to be glorifying or endorsing the Holocaust in any way. Predictably, others don’t see it this way, even though other Lunardelli labels feature depictions of different famous dictators and historical figures on them, including Mussolini and Stalin.

Despite call for boycotts and claims that these bottled promote anti-Semitism, the piece quoted a representative of the company, Andrea Lunardelli, as supporting these labels, saying that they are largely a novelty and seem to be popular.

“Eighty percent of the sales are Hitler,” he told the Times.

Wine bottle labels don’t exist in a vacuum and should be considered carefully for cultural sensitivity. It can make a big difference in terms of how a product is perceived, especially when the product line starts expanding to countries other than its origin. The design you use will cement a certain association in the minds of your consumers, so it’s important to try and make it a happy one. 

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