NEWS: Guinness ditches Irish shop in switch to O&M

The Dublin agency, Arks Advertising, has lost its pounds 5 million Guinness Stout business to Ogilvy and Mather London and its Irish subsidiary, Bell Advertising, after 25 years.

The Dublin agency, Arks Advertising, has lost its pounds 5 million

Guinness Stout business to Ogilvy and Mather London and its Irish

subsidiary, Bell Advertising, after 25 years.



The Irish account will be led by O&M London’s managing director, Tom

Bury, who heads the Guinness worldwide service team from the UK. Bury

will work closely with Richard Strahan, the managing director of Bell

Advertising.



However, in a statement this week, Guinness said O&M’s joint appointment

with Bell Advertising was on a project-only basis and that it would

continue to review the account. ‘Guinness Ireland has decided to

undertake a review, in the coming months, of its advertising

requirements and approaches for Guinness Stout, to take it through to

the new millennium. This review will be undertaken in consultation with

a number of leading Irish and international agencies.’



Sources close to the account suggest Guinness is hedging its bets and

wants to test O&M’s work before it appoints the agency on a more

permanent basis.



Bury declined to give details about O&M’s campaign, but said: ‘I am

delighted. We are looking forward to working with Guinness in the

immediate future.’



The agency is understood to be working on ideas similar to the ‘not

everything in black and white makes sense’ campaign, directed by Tony

Kaye, which broke in the UK this month (Campaign, 8 March).



The pounds 12 million UK blitz, shot entirely in black and white, seeks

to tease the viewer with puzzling scenarios that have no obvious

meaning. The ‘black and white’ theme replaced the ‘man with the

Guinness’ work that starred Rutger Hauer and ran for seven years across

21 commercials.



The new O&M work is likely to focus on Irish issues by using quotes from

people on themes such as monogamy and emigration.



The Guinness loss comes as a shock to Arks, which created the highly

successful ‘anticipation’ commercial that showed a manic Jo McKinney

dancing around his pint while waiting for it to settle.



‘Anticipation’ was run in the UK as a filler last year when it became

clear that O&M’s new work was not ready for screening.



Arks remains on the Guinness roster, but it is uncertain how long the

relationship is likely to last.



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