Using Shane MacGowan, the disreputable lead singer of the Popes, to
advertise an Irish airline seems unlikely. But MacGowan, once named the
most ugly bloke in Britain by the Sun, is among a list of Irish
celebrities starring in Aer Lingus’s pounds 1.5 million press campaign
through Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO (Campaign, 21 November).
David Bonworth, the Aer Lingus marketing director, says he is interested
to see how the ad will turn out. ’With his background and reputation, I
did think twice about using him. But the airline needed a change. When I
heard someone describing Aer Lingus as the ’airline I’d most like to get
delayed on’, I thought, ’that’s how everyone should regard the brand’,’
Bonworth started out in marketing after leaving Trinity College,
’I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but quite a few of my friends
went on to do accountancy and there was no way that I wanted to do
A lot of people may think marketing is all gin and tonics and parties,
but it is also a lot of hard work.’
After university, Bonworth, 47, joined an agency promoting Ireland to
international businesses. He joined the brewer, Guinness, in 1977 as
brand manager and left three years later to become the marketing
director of an industrial engineering company.
In 1986, Bonworth joined the pharmaceutical company, Sterling Health,
progressing from marketing director to country manager over a period of
nine years. ’I was certain that I wanted to be based in Ireland.
Although I’ve been lucky with my jobs in that I’ve been able to travel
with them, I always come home to Dublin,’ he says.
He joined Aer Lingus two-and-a-half years ago with a brief to realign
people’s thinking about the airline. It was a challenge he relished.
’I used the airline frequently and I felt it was a great opportunity. It
was a very exciting time to get involved in the airline business,’
Bonworth says. ’I hope it will be a campaign that people will feel proud
to be featured in.’