Diageo Case Study

802 Words4 Pages
I am going to discuss the ethicality of beverage promotion by Diageo in 2002. Diageo, a British company which has succeeded in developing a range of premium brands, is known throughout most of the world with the best-selling whisky brand, iconic Johnnie Walker. The company always took unusual steps to launch their brand advertisements that deliver consumption messages. In 2002, Diageo launched 85 advertising posters (as shown in Figure 1) about promoting Johnnie Walker in the London Underground stations. The left hand side of the poster was an opened present box with a warning label talking about the poor quality of Taiwan (The Victoria Advocate, 2003, January 12): “Warning. This gift will break down on Christmas morning. Replacement parts…show more content…
In this case, Diageo’s advertisement can be regarded as an attack advertisement, which is one of the negative advertising techniques. The advertising content alluded that the Taiwan 's services quality were poor, which damaged the image of Taiwanese. In addition, the advertisement disrespectfully stereotyped Taiwan products as bad quality products. It was negatively affecting people 's perceptions on Taiwanese. Therefore, it caused serious protests and controversy from Taiwan. Besides, after the lawmakers in Taiwan calling for a 1-year ban on the products of Johnnie Walker, Diageo claimed that Taiwan Government was striking its brand image, profit and business. Diageo’s public apology and amendment making is needed. It should value individual differences, avoid stereotyping others in a humiliating way and stop insulting a country 's poor quality of after-sales services and products. It should make every effort to respectfully treat buyers, distributors and suppliers from…show more content…
In conclusion, although Diageo did not violate any laws in England, its advertisement insulted Taiwan, which did not respect Taiwan and did not consider the citizenship between Diageo and Taiwan. The “humor” marketing advertisement did not receive a positive effect but led to a conflict between the company and Taiwan. This shows that ethical aspect is a very important part in marketing promotion.

1. American Marketing Association. (2014). Ethical Norms and Values for Marketers. Retrieved from https://archive.ama.org/archive/AboutAMA/Pages/Statement%20of%20Ethics.aspx.

2. British Broadcasting Corporation. (2003). Taiwan mulls Diageo ban. Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/2652705.stm.

3. Crane, A., (2007). Business Ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. 2nd ed. England: Oxford University Press, p. 54-55.

4. & [Figure1]. The Victoria Advocate. (2003, January 12). Offensive ad leads to ban on liquor in Taiwan. Retrieved from
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