The folks at Guinness had one too many this week — leaves, that is.
The Diageo-owned beer brand is all about the wearing of the green as St. Patrick’s Day draws near, but it was left red-faced recently after an out-of-home ad in Toronto mixed up a four-leaf clover and an Irish shamrock.
Created by Traffik, the posters at Toronto’s St. Patrick’s subway station featured a headline reading “Preferred foliage,” with an image of a maple leaf above the date March 16 and a four-leaf clover – instead of the three-leafed shamrock – above March 17.
It didn’t take long for Toronto’s Irish community to spot the error.
In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Judith Gannon, a copywriter with Toronto agency Squareknot, posted a picture of the botched ad with the message “I thought if anyone would be able to get a shamrock right it would be @guinnesscanada. I guess not.”
Another Twitter poster named Diane Flanagan wrote: “So March 17 – has something to do with 4 leaf clovers does it???” accompanied by the #fail hashtag.
Diageo Canada’s vice-president of marketing Iain Chalmers was travelling in the U.S. and unable to respond to interview requests Friday. However, the company issued a statement reading: “Diageo recognizes the mistake and, as Canadians, have said sorry.”
The company said that four – not three – posters in the station have since been removed.