Fri, Dec 27, 2002 - Page 4 News List

British firm desperately seeks damage limitation


Diageo Great Britain's managing director has formally apologized to Taiwan for a blunder the company committed in a Christmas advertisement that has smeared the image of Taiwan-made products.

In a letter to Tien Hung-mao (田弘茂), Taiwan's representative in the United Kingdom, Don Goulding said the offense caused by the advertisement "was never the intention of his company."

"We very much regret this and apologize for any distress this may have caused the Taiwanese community in London and the people of Taiwan in general," he said.

Goulding said Diageo responded immediately to complaints and that it has arranged for the advertisements to be removed from London tube stations and underground railway stations. All 75 posters were to be removed by Dec. 24.

"This advertisement should not have been cleared for use and we are currently investigating with the people involved how this happened," he said.

In a separate move, Tony Mair, Diageo's managing Director in charge of the commercial department, phoned Tien on Tuesday afternoon, informing him that his company will book advertising space from the London Underground over the Chinese New Year holiday to correct the erroneous impression given by the ads.

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