Arks loses out to O&M in 5m Guinness reshuffle

Guinness Ireland is dropping Arks, its Dublin-based agency of 25 years, from its main Guinness stout account. The 5m business has been handed to Bell Advertising in Dublin which will work on it with its parent, Ogilvy & Mather, London.

This is thought to be the first time a UK agency has worked on the Guinness Ireland account.

The agencies will work on the next stage of advertising for Guinness draught with a campaign breaking in mid-summer. O&M already holds the account for Guinness Brewing GB and recently began its new campaign, directed by Tony Kaye, with the strapline: “Not everything in black and white makes sense.”

Arks will remain on the Guinness roster but the stability of this arrangement is not clear.

The decision is surprising after the success of Arks’ “Anticipation” ads. These showed a manic man dancing round his pint while he waits for it to settle, and achieved cult status in the Irish and UK markets.

That ad went on air in the UK as the company finally dropped Rutger Hauer as its star after seven years. The present Guinness campaign was due to break last summer but suffered a six-month delay.

In 65 years of UK ads, Guinness has been handled by only four agencies – SH Benson, J Walter Thompson, Allen Brady & Marsh and O&M (which bought SH Benson).

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