Blog: Guinness gaff draws a grin from Diageo's top man

James Wilmore | 20 November 2013

Four months into his premiership at Diageo, Ivan Menezes showed that he can cope with the odd curveball thrown at him by media. 

At a press gathering, following an investors day in London yesterday, I decided to ask him about a slightly uncomfortable recent episode in the UK involving Guinness. The team behind the Irish stout brand took the unusal step of booking out an entire three-minute ad slot during an episode last month of ITV's primetime chatathon The Jonathan Ross Show. 

So far, so good. 

But the spot featured Jonathan Ross himself in a bizarre pseudo chat environment, with comedian Danny Wallace and Professor Robin Dunbar talking about the benefits of male bonding. As we reported at the time, the Twitterati were not impressed and neither was my colleague Olly Wehring

So what what did Mr Menezes think of the debacle?

In a relaxed manner, with even a slight grin on his face, he told just-drinks: “It didn't turn to be as good as we wanted, but I'm glad they tried it... I want people to push the boundaries.” 

He added: “If you're not failing, you're not trying hard enough.” 

On that basis, I can't wait to see what the Guinness gang try next. 


Are you fodmap-compliant? The latest health fad uncovered

Forget gluten-free. Fodmaps are the latest food trend, and if you work in the soft drinks industry it is important to know where you stand with them....


India's Bihar state readies alcohol ban

Bihar is the latest state in India that will ban the consumption of alcohol, fulfilling an election pledge by the state's Chief Minister....


Baileys and the "bellwether of naffness"

Companies are very protective of their brand image. So it is refreshing to hear Diageo's Garbhan O’Bric, the global brand director for Baileys, speak the unvarnished truth when talking about the lique...


From pixels to pilsner - how video games are moving into alcohol

Alcohol companies love a good movie tie-in. A brush with Hollywood glamour seems to give marketers the warm and fuzzies, judging by the number of deals done over the past few years. The new James Bond...


Groupe Danone to sink GBP2m into Volvic Touch of Fruit Sparkling

Groupe Danone is to launch a GBP2m marketing campaign in the UK next year to support its Volvic Touch of Fruit Sparkling range....


Tax Free World Association - Day three: Beam Suntory's big boat and Patron's virtual home

just-drinks is in Cannes this week at the Tax Free World Association show. Here's the second part of Andy Morton's blog, which will keep you up-to-date at one of the most important dates in the Trave...

just-drinks homepage

Forgot your password?