NEWS: Euro RSCG resigns Guinness in anger

Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper has severed its relationship with Guinness, following the brewer’s decision to hand over the agency’s pounds 5 million Kilkenny business to Publicis just weeks before the launch (Campaign, 3 May).

Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper has severed its relationship with Guinness,

following the brewer’s decision to hand over the agency’s pounds 5

million Kilkenny business to Publicis just weeks before the launch

(Campaign, 3 May).



Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper has slammed the principles of the Guinness client,

and is relinquishing its Kaliber and Pilsner Urquell brands in the UK,

while the Euro RSCG network will also dump the pounds 5 million Draught

Guinness account across Europe, which it was awarded only last week. It

will also cease working on all lucrative new product development

projects.



Brett Gosper, the agency’s chief executive, said: ‘This is a very tough

and expensive decision for us, but a principle isn’t a principle until

it costs you money.’



The agency felt that the decision to award Kilkenny to Publicis was a

breach of business ethics. Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper was appointed to the

launch four months ago by Rob MacNevin, Guinness’s marketing director,

after a pitch against the brewer’s other roster agency, Ogilvy and

Mather.



Since then, Julian Spooner has replaced MacNevin, and Spooner was

responsible for bringing in Publicis to work alongside Euro RSCG Wnek

Gosper to develop ideas for the launch campaign.



Creative work from the two agencies was put into research, and

consequently the Kilkenny account was awarded to Publicis.



The executive creative director of Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper, Mark Wnek, has

a long history of working on Guinness. He created the ‘pure genius’ line

and originated the Rutger Hauer campaign when he was at Ogilvy and

Mather.



Wnek said: ‘We have a wealth of creative experience in the alcohol

sector and this decision leaves us free to enter into discussions with

prospects in this area who have been showing interest in us.’



He added: ‘We’ve done award-winning work for Kaliber. Pilsner Urquell is

in the D&AD annual this year. It’s a shame we can’t continue in the same

vein on Kilkenny, but I’m afraid we can only influence the creative

product and not the politics.’



Gosper added: ‘Our relationship with Guinness compromised our business

principles.’



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