Friday, July 11, 2003

A pint of Diageo and a packet of layoffs, please

The indignities of Ireland's relations with Guinness in a globalised world continue. The stout is served too cold, faux draught concoctions are being developed under the Guinness brand, the company profits on the spread of Bud, and now, with the Irish economy extremely sluggish, they are laying off workers.

As the RTE story notes, the company isn't even called Guinness anymore; instead it's part of a global conglomerate called Diageo, a name that was presumably developed during the management consultant-induced craze for stupid corporate non-names of the 1990s (Altira, BearingPoint). Diageo's website wants us to be impressed that they have all these brands of alcohol under the same roof, but we prefer to think of booze as having some cultural specificity and not just another vehicle for synergy. For instance, Tanqueray and Guinness. What do they have in common other than a corporate parent? How would these fine Snoop Dogg lyrics look if we changed the two products?

Later on that day
My homey Dr. Dre came through with a gang of Tanqueray
And a fat ass J, of some bubonic chronic that made me choke
Sh*t, this ain't no joke
I had to back up off of it and sit my cup down
Tanqueray and chronic, yeah I'm f*cked up now

Not as f*cked up as those laid off workers.

UPDATE: Little did we know in choosing our heading above, referring to a packet of crisps, that they would end up figuring in the bad news too. But now Tayto, the inventor of the cheese and onion crisp, has also announced layoffs. The Celtic Tiger is not just dead, it's been stuffed and hung on a wall.