Guinness makes a fauna-pas in St. Patrick’s Day ad

TTC ad features a four-leaf clover instead of a shamrock

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.

The blunder has since gone global, with media outlets including The Telegraph and The Irish Times picking up the story.

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.




See all comments Recent Comments

I believe you meant “flora”, not “fauna”, in that headline.

Monday, March 14 @ 7:42 am |

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