Blog: Chris MercerTalisker: Made by the Sea (but not this sea)

Chris Mercer | 26 November 2010

Diageo annoys locals by using French coastline to promote Talisker

Diageo annoys locals by using French coastline to promote Talisker

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Diageo has committed something of a faux-pas by using an image of the French coastline to publicise its Talisker Scotch whisky.

The drinks giant recently began its first global push on Talisker and is using a poster that depicts a lighthouse on the island of Le Creac’h, off the coast of Brittany. The poster contains the slogan "made by the sea". Locals on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, where the Talisker distillery lies, are a little irked.

If you've never been to Skye, then add it to your list. I have been and it seems pretty odd to me that the island's outstanding natural beauty was not used exclusively to front Diageo's campaign, which began last month with a GBP1.6m marketing spend in the UK alone. 

A spokesperson for Diageo said that the group will also be using a photo of the lighthouse at Neist Point on Skye during the Talisker campaign. "The purpose of these dramatic seascapes is to contrast the elemental power of standing by a rugged coastline with the warmth and exhilaration of drinking Talisker," Diageo told just-drinks.

“The intention is to expand and develop the campaign and to feature other iconic maritime images which capture the essence of Talisker and which reflect the global nature of this iconic whisky brand," it added.

Seeing as not all Talisker whisky is matured at the distillery on Skye (there is not enough space), and that the barley must first travel to Diageo's big maltings not far from Inverness before the distillery goes to work, I suppose the picture of a French lighthouse in the campaign poster is just another detour.

Marketing is full of embellishment, of course. The question is: how far can poetic licence stretch? And, in this case, does Diageo need to stretch it? The Isle of Skye is bursting with myths, legends and brooding landscapes.


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