This paper analyses the first decade of ads published and broadcast by Guinness in Ireland. The period is 1959 to 1969, a time that marked the start of significant change in Irish society. It is argued here that the messages in the adverts chronicle many of these changes. Seismic shifts in government economic policy coincided with the 200th anniversary of the foundation of the Guinness brewery. The ensuing lift in the economy’s fortunes is mirrored in many ads, as are some of the demographic changes, such as rising marriage rates and falling birth rates, and an expanding middle class. The 1960s heralded the launch of RTÉ, thus affording Guinness a more impactful way of reaching Irish audiences. Signs of change in the status of women in Irish society were tentative but this paper argues that some of Guinness’s ads attempted to normalise the participation of women in previously male-dominated scenarios, such as the Irish pub.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.