By: bgulien (offline) Friday, 05 September 2008 (Read 11278 times)
This from the Ileach:
It gives me much pleasure to acknowledge the vital contribution which our distilleries make to the island economy, directly by providing employment and indirectly by attracting visitors - from near and afar - who in turn give other businesses a valuable boost. I must also recognise the distilleriesâ€™ generous donations to local charities.
With the notable exception of Bruichladdich, the industry behaves impeccably, goes about its affairs responsibly and discreetly and brings to its public relations maturity and tact. Obviously, these companies uphold a collective standard of propriety in all sectors of their operations and particularly in the â€œdelicateâ€ one of advertising. In stark contrast, Bruichladdich pursues a brash, opportunistic style of management - at times bordering on the uncouth - and revels in its chosen role of untamed mavericks of the whisky industry. It is not for me to suggest how the Board of Bruichladdich should conduct its business; that is its prerogative and rightly so. But I do suggest its â€œlike it or lump itâ€ approach, particularly to public relations, has provoked this confrontation.
Let us now visit the Uiskentuie shenanigans to see what is on display this fine, carnival day. There is arrogance, ostentation, machismo, insensitivity, posturing celebrities, and gimmickry; nothing new there. But there is a message; a new message, a â€œfunâ€ message which is loud, clear and potentially lethal. As the area is cordoned off for launch and the count-down begins, it is too late for remorse, too late for recrimination, too late to abort the â€œmissionâ€; we have lift-off and the â€œfunâ€ message is on the way:
Bruichladdich - the most potent whisky ever distilled - is guaranteed to get you up to speed in four seconds flat. Have a â€œfunâ€ weekend.
You know, I used to enjoy a glass of Bruichladdich, but lately it seems to have acquired a bitter taste. Could this be symptomatic of an ageing palate or a reaction to the virulent â€œFun-thing virusâ€, now endemic in our society?
Is this person the voice of the majority, or is he, like they said on the Laddieblog, a disgruntled ex-employee?
This is all to do with the opportunistic style of marketing and the pranks they will do to grab the headlines, culminating in the closing of Bridgend - Bruichladdich road for the James May/Oz Clark drive in the BruichLaddich car, powered by whisky.
It appears, that full cooperation was given by the Islay Constabulary. This drive was originally planned for the Airport road.
I think Islay is thrilled with the Bruichladdich Distillery and with the new to open Port Charlotte Distillery. They are the biggest employer on the Rhinns and a very important reason for many visitors to come to Islay.
I'm constantly surprised by the way they seek, and get, free publicity! Others can learn a lot from them. And the gentleman in question, well I think everybody is entitled to his or her opinion. That goes for John Heads in Bowmore as well as for Mark Reynier, all in their own special style
Are the people of Islay disenchanted with Bruichladdich.... of course they're not.
Like you said, it's a big employer and I think they will forgive Mark for his "uncouth" practices.
The title of the topic was a bit tongue in cheek.
On the blog however, it was sometimes a heated discussion.
Even one who promised to never drink a Bruichladdich again. That is a going a bit far, I think.
Another one said this:
Take the time to speak privately with either employees or better still ex-employees of the company about their hidden practices
Whatever could she (it was a she, I presume, named Vanessa) be on about.
Maybe the CIA connection, WMD's and the "stealing" of a submarine is actually true.
Anyway, I hope the Grumpy Old Git valinch will be there soon
John Heads is not the only one in the island who feels this way believe me. I think the phrase "Jumping on the band wagon" is perfect for Bruichladdich. Also Mr Heads is a respected islander that has retired back home from a very hlgh powered job - nothing to do with Bruichladdich.
I'm an Ileach. And these sad trouble makers are not speaking for me, or I doubt for many others who live here either. Mark, what you are doing for Bruichladdich, whisky and the island is fantastic. Don't let the bxxxxxx get you down. Keep it up! Sad Git Valinch for me too please.
or another one:
"This tendency to restrict, to control and to enforce conformity and homogeneity is an obsessive and paranoid flaw in the Scottish character." James MacMillan 1999
Can be that Mr. John Heads is a respected islander, but what is his problem really? Is it that some outsiders are being successful at something that only an Ileach/Scotsman can do best?
Running a distillery and being good at it.
Otherwise I don't get it.
He accuses them on being brass, uncouth and having arrogance, ostentation, machismo, insensitivity, posturing celebrities, and gimmickry.
That's very serious, but it goes further, he says:
But there is a message; a new message, a "fun"Â message which is loud, clear and potentially lethal.
What's that? A "lethal" fun message.
And then someone even put:
Take the time to speak privately with either employees or better still ex-employees of the company about their hidden practices.
There is some deep running hatred going about.
Let's hope Mr. John Heads will enjoy a dram from one of the other, more impeccable, responsible, discreet and tactful distilleries.
I will take a nice Bruichladdich 3D3 tribute to Norrie Campell
Can be that Mr. John Heads is a respected islander, but what is his problem really? Is it that some outsiders are being successful at something that only an Ileach/Scotsman can do best? Running a distillery and being good at it.Otherwise I don't get it. There is some deep running hatred going about.
Bob, I don't think there is something like deep hatred going on here. I also I think we should not discuss it in this forum, for the simple reason that we don't have enough background information as to why mr John Heads wrote this letter in the first place. And since he is not a member of this forum we are likely not to find out either.
Archie made a point by saying that more people feel the same about this issue and I have heard some things here and there as well. Not everyone is charmed about the way Mark Reynier speaks out, I guess you can compare Mark with the strongest whiskies on the island, you either love him or hate him.
Although he manages to attract every bit of free publicity, and you have to credit him for that, he can sometimes be a bit hard on other people. For instance the thing he wrote on the laddieblog about cancellation of the Spot the Barrel competition, a quote: "Unfortunately, and predictably, the target of 40,000 tickets was never likely to be reached owing to fundamental flaws - naive marketing, amateur promotion, and lack of credibility in the scheme." These words must have been pretty hard for Roland, the organiser. I was also surprised to read this since Bruichladdich was one of the sponsors of the competition. And what have they done to help Roland to sell more tickets?
I think it's things like this that makes the man popular with some and hated by others. He does manage to get Islay in the picture but quit different from the way a lot of people were used to in the past. Is that good or bad? That's for everyone else to decide.
The Maggie is one of Ealing studios lesser known comedies. A wily old skipper of a Western Isles 'Puffer' and his motley crew lead all who come into contact with them a fine old time! Many scenes on Islay!