Not only has the powerhouse distillery Macallan lost their Master distiller, Doctor Nick Savage to Bladnoch the brands major marketing campaign, which launched in late 2018 at a cost of $15 million, has been instantly stalled. The 90-second video that was released on all platforms including television and online and set to be shown in heavy rotation, has this week been banned by the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The advertisement shows a man leaping from a cliff before growing wings and asks boldly “Would you risk falling for the chance to fly?” The ASA explain that this promotes ‘Risk taking behaviour’ and that they have received ‘numerous complaints.’
A Macallan spokesperson last week stated ‘In light of the ASA ruling, we have acted to address their concerns and removed the campaign film from relevant channels accessible by the UK audience. As phase one of the campaign is now complete, we will take on-board the ruling as we plan for the next phase of the campaign. The overall theme of the global campaign is about bold decision-making and targeting a new generation of luxury consumers. This will continue to be the focus of the global campaign, though we will, of course, take on board the ASA’s comments in relation to the film elements in the UK market as we develop the campaign in the future.’
Dr. Savage is set to replace Ian MacMillan (ex Bladnoch Master Distiller) who left the lowlands distillery in January this year. Macallan is yet to announce who would be replacing Savage or if they have in deed started searching for a suitor.
When questioned in regards to his motivation for the move, Savage stated “The vision and ambition shown by David Prior and the team at Bladnoch Distillery, together with the phenomenal efforts since 2015 with the re-generation of the historical site, played a huge part in my decision to join the Bladnoch business. The opportunity also allows me a new challenge in Single Malt Lowland Scotch Whisky from a 200 year old distillery. Combined with the passion and drive that the Bladnoch team have for the ultimate quality, I’m extremely excited to be a part of the amazing future of the brand.”
All in all, for the Macallan team, it is definitely one of those weeks where you knock off on Friday, come home, collapse in a chair and pour a large dram. The question is; what would be in the glass?
- R. Tucknott. Travelling Whisky Reviews