Lovers of whisky in Nigeria will no longer ask for McDowell’s No. 1, rather a bottle of ‘Mr. Dowell’s No.1’ as the largest selling whisky in Nigeria has recently announced a name change.
The whisky brand which is produced and marketed by Guinness Nigeria Plc under licensing agreement from Diageo Plc, its parent company is originally an Indian whisky, whose origin is popular in the Asian country.
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), which monitors the Scotch whisky category and maintains that only whisky made in Scotland and under certain guidelines can be called Scotch argued that outside of India, many consumers mistakenly assume they are Scotch Whiskies because of their name and reference to Scotland.
The SWA and Diageo reached an agreement in 2016 to change the name from McDowell’s No. 1 to another name within a period of transition.
However, McDowell’s, which became part of Diageo when the later acquired United Spirits Limited (USL), the Indian manufacturer in 2014, would maintain the original brand name in India
Speaking on the change of name, Temitope Adenle, Brand Manager, Mr. Dowell’s No.1, said, the new name was the overwhelming favourite of Nigerians who took part in a unique social media campaign for a name change which lasted for two weeks.
“In addition to the fact that the name was the overwhelming choice of our consumers, we are particularly pleased that we have a new name that rolls off the tongue as smoothly as Nigeria’s no. 1 whisky,” said Ms. Adenle.
“Mr. Dowell’s will continue to sit proudly at tables where friends gather, strengthening bonds of true friendship.
“Our friends can be rest assured that Mr. Dowell’s may be a new name but the spirit remains the same. It is the Spirit of True Friendship”.
Mr. Dowell’s is sold in many countries outside India, with Nigeria being its largest export market. Guinness Nigeria acquired the distribution rights to McDowell’s No. 1 in Nigeria in December 2015.