Before you suggest in a brainstorming session that your brand should launch its own holiday, consider the story of Guinness and Arthur’s Day.
The “holiday,” first celebrated in 2009 in Ireland, features free beer and concerts by some of Europe’s most notable bands and musicians, including Mumford & Sons.
Free alcohol? What could go wrong?
It’s too bad that the marketing event, held Thursday and spearheaded by the beverage’s overlord, Diageo, is being called out as a “cynical marketing ploy
The Associated Press explains
But this year, Guinness has been put on the defensive amid surging protests that Arthur's Day is compounding an alcoholic culture that costs Ireland 3.7 billion euros ($5 billion) annually in hung-over workers, a Europe-leading rate of liver disease, late-night vandalism and violence in hospital emergency rooms.
Diageo PR director in Ireland, Peter O’Brien, told the AP that the event promotes the pub as the center of Irish life and tourism.
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