Saturday 25 March 2017

Mandy Johnston: When this party is over, Guinness will need a lot of strength to recover

Bobby Womack, one of the headline acts for this year's Arthur's Day, poses ahead of the fifth year of the event in Dublin
Bobby Womack, one of the headline acts for this year's Arthur's Day, poses ahead of the fifth year of the event in Dublin

THE hangover of Arthur's Day for Diageo is enduring. On paper, Arthur's Day should work. A "national holiday" for a nation well known for their fondness of the odd libation brought to you by the makers of Guinness. Simple. Somewhere in the complicated corporate structure that is Diageo, a group of global marketing gurus brainstormed about how they might boost sales and profits of Guinness at home and abroad. Where better to start than the home of Guinness itself?

Not since the 'Floozy in the Jacuzzi' have we witnessed such outrage and national debate about an initiative that started out with the intent to deliver a warm and fuzzy feeling but just left a huge headache and a bad taste in our mouths.

The result of this campaign has left Diageo branded as international villains who have attempted to cynically fabricate a national holiday for their own gain.

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