Dewar’s Highlander Honey ad criticised for Claire Forlani’s poor Scottish accentBy Becky Paskin
Bacardi’s advert for its new Dewar’s Highlander Honey has drawn criticism from viewers questioning English actress Claire Forlani’s Scottish accent.
The third US commercial from Dewar’s featuring the Meet Joe Black actress, who is married to Scottish actor Dougray Scott, the advert conveys the brand’s new Highlander Honey drink as “sweetness with bite”.
Forlani’s character is described by ad agency Opperman Weiss as a “siren with the presence of a queen and the mouth of a gangster”.
In it, the English-Italian actress allows a bee to sting her finger before stirring her glass of Highlander Honey with it, declaring “You should be asking yourself: what is sweetness without a little bite,” in an attempt at a Scottish accent. She then turns over her shoulder and warns “Be careful Angus” to an off-screen presence before throwing her head back and laughing.
However viewers of the commercial, which is only airing in the US, have been quick to criticise her accent as “painful”.
“Bad accent and terrible adverts!!” wrote one viewer on the Daily Mail website. “Why does it have a Spanish/Italian vibe to it? Shouldn’t it be Scottish?” wrote another on Reddit.
Opperman Weiss explained her character as having: “A strong, commanding grip over the edgy, underground world and exudes her power through her piercing attitude, cutting tongue and entrancing beauty. She draws the viewer in from the moment she is seen, enticing men and pulling them into her clandestine world.”
The criticism is another blow for Bacardi that has been beleaguered with calls to amend its labelling to adhere to Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) regulations. The Highlander Honey label refers to the drink as a “blended Scotch whisky infused with natural flavors,” although the SWA does not permit the addition of flavouring to Scotch.
“We have concerns that the labelling and promotion of Dewar’s Highlander Honey could distinguish the product more clearly from Scotch whisky,” a spokesperson for the SWA said.
Is her Scottish accent spot on? What do you think? Watch the commercial and leave a comment below.