New rum ad ‘mocks Scotsmen in kilts’

February 7th, 2011 - 12:49 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 7 (ANI): In a bid to lure local drinkers back to native rum, an international drinks company has stirred controversy between Scotland and Trinidad and Tobago by mocking Scotsmen in kilts.

Angostura, which produces a wide range of drinks including its famous bitters, has produced a series of giant billboard and media advertisements that show a Scotsman in national dress performing a Highland Fling but failing to impress a curvy beauty because of his costume, reports the Scotsman.

The billboards, timed to coincide with the annual Carnival on the Caribbean island of Trinidad carries the slogan: ‘In Scotland, men dance in skirts. In Trinidad, men dance with women in skirts’.

The slogan is part of a campaign by Angostura to lure Trinidadians away from Scotch, one of their tipples of choice, and drink locally produced rum instead.

The campaign in the Caribbean has sparked an angry backlash from expatriate Scots living on the island.

“They’re saying something against a people and a nation, and that’s crossing a boundary. It is a concentrated campaign and I think it’s bad when there is a reference to national dress,” said a resident.

Another resident pointed out that Trinidad was preparing for its Carnival festival - the biggest in the Caribbean attracting more than 200,000 people.

“People come from all over the world and they’re going to see this campaign that really does poke fun at the Scots and their national dress,” he said.

Support has also emerged back at home.

Hugh Statham, a senior manager at Geoffrey Tailor Kiltmaker, one of Scotland’s biggest kilt producers, described the advert as a misrepresentation of what a kilt is.

“A kilt is not a skirt. It’s misleading. Most people are aware of what kilts are and their place in society and history. The minority of people who refer to kilts as skirts are just being idiots,” he said.

The advert is part of a series targeting Scotch, which is a popular drink on the archipelago, aimed at attempting to lure drinkers back to rum.

Brian Woods, the senior marketing manager for Angostura’s rum products, said the advert was the fifth in a series of 12 adverts planned by the company for Trinidad and Tobago.

“The context is that that it’s not so much a dig at Scotland as it is asking consumers in Trinidad, who are starting to get a healthy appetite for Scotch, to reappraise rum within the context of Scotch. It’s the local market,” he said.

“I think the Trinidadians and the Scots share a similar sense of humour. I always think in Scotland you really know when someone likes you when they start to have a go at you. It’s certainly very much light-hearted and there was certainly no desire to cause offence,” he added. (ANI)

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