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
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
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
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
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.