March 11, 2008

Why I love America


CHICAGO ( -- Diageo's Guinness brand has raised eyebrows -- and, it hopes, sales -- with a petition-driven push to make St. Patrick's Day an official holiday. Now Diageo's effort is getting support from an unexpected partner: Anheuser-Busch.

Ads in print and on radio will soon complement an online petition to make St. Patrick's Day an official holiday.

A-B -- which last year acquired U.S. import rights for Bass Ale, Guiness' traditional partner in "black and tan" mixtures -- is planning a print and radio push to support Guinness' drive, according to a memo to A-B distributors first reported by Beer Business Daily.

Drinking buddies
"As the foundation of every authentic Black & Tan, Bass Pale Ale has quite literally supported Guinness for decades," the memo reads. "This year we've identified an exciting new way to 'support' our competition."

A-B, according to the memo, will support Guinness' push for 1 million signatures in favor of an official U.S. St. Patrick's Day holiday, with full-page print ads in alternative weeklies in 14 markets, as well as "nontraditional" radio sponsorships on stations popular with men aged 25-49 in those markets. The ads will begin running this week.

Despite the frequent mixing of the two brands by bartenders, the relationship between them has seldom been acknowledged by marketers.

Diageo has tended to push its Harp brand as the "tan," instead of Bass, while A-B, in its brief time owning Bass, has emphasized its obscure Bare Knuckle Stout in lieu of Guinness.

'Everybody's Irish'
"On St. Patrick's Day everybody is Irish, and everyone at Guinness is genuinely complimented by all the attention and good will being focused on our quest to make St. Patrick's Day a national holiday," said a Diageo spokesperson.

Just remember, it's a sin not to do it.

You know, I'm going to get in trouble on a number of levels for this, but my Mom always made a wicked corned beef and boiled cabbage. You would need to add a whole jar of mustard to get the cabbage down, but it worked for me. The Hugenot part of soul was I'm sure muttering anti-papist blasphemies the whole time that would've made an exorcist blush (think an Altar Boy Eric Cartman, but with tourettes), but the Irish part of me was happy (at least, as happy as could be without a tall Guinness in hand).

Posted by Steve-O at March 11, 2008 11:46 AM | TrackBack

Try a little touch of cinnamon in the water. Trust me.

Posted by: mojo at March 11, 2008 12:54 PM

Did you miss the SP episode where Cartman faked having tourettes?

It isn't March 17th that needs to be a holiday, rather it is March 18th.

And PS, call a cab or designate a driver, everyone.

Posted by: rbj at March 11, 2008 01:31 PM