Guinness Great Britain (CGB) has given up marketing Harp Irish
Lager and is phasing out Enigma lager as it focuses all its marketing
energy behind its flagship stout.
Marketing activity for Harp, the oldest draught lager in Britain, has
been transferred to Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries (W&DB). Enigma will
be phased out from mid-1999 following disappointing sales, while
Guinness Bitter and Kaliber will be brewed elsewhere but will be
marketed by Guinness.
The deal also involves GGB sub-contracting the brewing of Kronenbourg
1664 to W&DB, subject to agreement by brand owner Danone. GGB will
continue to oversee Kronenbourg’s sales and marketing activity below the
line with Scottish Courage handling advertising.
’While Harp Irish Lager and Kronenbourg 1664 have played important roles
within our portfolio in the past, Guinness Stout now accounts for over
85% of our business,’ said GGB managing director, Gary Matthews.
’We have developed a new business strategy which will see GGB
significantly increase its growth in coming years by focusing more
resources behind Guinness.’
Guinness is under pressure from Diageo to boost its performance, and is
trying to double its share of the beer market from 5% to 10%. It
appointed Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO to handle its pounds 12m ad account
in January this year.
W&DB, which has announced a pounds 262m bid for regional brewer Marston,
Thompson & Evershed, already brews Harp and has had this licence
extended for another ten years.
A new pounds 2.3m ad campaign for Harp broke last month. The ads, by
Publicis, attempt to give the brand a more premium-positioning.