NIGERIA – Nigeria’s largest selling whisky brand McDowell’s No. 1 Whisky has changed its name to ‘Mr. Dowell’s No.1’ following a two-weeks, unique social media campaign.

McDowell’s is a brand of whisky with Indian origin, produced and marketed by Guinness Nigeria Plc under licensing agreement from Diageo Plc, its parent company.

“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 Temitope Adenle, Brand Manager, Mr. Dowell’s No.1.

“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.”

McDowell’s became part of Diageo when it acquired United Spirits Limited (USL), the second largest spirits company in India, in 2014.

But according to the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), only whisky made in Scotland and under certain guidelines can be called Scotch.

Diageo was allowed to keep the brand name in India but in 2016, the two reached an agreement to change the name from McDowell’s No. 1 to another name within a period of transition.

Guinness Nigeria acquired right to distribute United Spirits Limited’s (USL) mainstream spirits brand, McDowell’s in Nigeria in December 2015.

This is after the Orijin beer maker acquired exclusive distribution rights to Diageo’s premium spirits in Nigeria.

Diageo is Guinness Nigeria’s parent with a majority shareholding of 54.3% in Guinness stocks and with an expressed intent to increase its stake to 70%.

Its Nigerian portfolio includes Johnny Walker, Baileys, Smirnoff Vodka, Gordons, Tanqueray, among others.

Guinness Premium Stout (Guinness Foreign Extra Stout) is the company’s flagship brand but has recorded decline in sales as consumers move to herbal drinks, spirits and cheaper brands.

Guinness Nigeria’s revenue for the year ended 30 June 2018 increased by 14% to US$396.64 million.