City barber called in to trim giant 'tache on beer bilboard

MOST men struggle to keep their five o'clock shadow in check.

So imagine having to contend with whiskers you could play jump-rope with, or even wrap around a family saloon car.

This is the task visited upon one Edinburgh barber recruited to groom a 16-feet moustache currently adorning a Haymarket billboard.

The head-turning advertising board is part of a marketing campaign launched by Tennent's Lager, paying tribute to brewery founder Hugh Tennent - noted for sporting a huge 'tache during the time he created the beer in 1885.

It shows Hugh's moustache shooting out of the sides and top hat extending above the top of the frame while he stands clasping a pint of golden beer.

Stylist Scott Williams of Boom Barbers has been charged with keeping the hirsute billboard in pristine condition.

"We've been trading in Edinburgh for over 10 years and we're used to all kinds of hair and shaving requests, but this is a first," said the scissor-whiz.

"From the days of Magnum PI to the boys from Biffy Clyro today, the moustache is almost always a good look and we hope to see Hugh inspiring a few more Scots to get creative with their upper lip!"

One man who would applaud that view is Steve Parsons, secretary of UK 'tache-promoting society, the Handlebar Club.

He believes the barber will have his work cut out managing the giant moustache - even if it is artificial.

"I hate to think what people will do to it on the street," he said. "But even if left alone, the hair will collect all manner of things being out in the open all the time.

"Our members often find all sorts of things in our moustaches and we have to be careful that we don't go out with half our lunch in it.

"So imagine what delights we could find being out all day on the street. Can you imagine dealing with 16-feet split ends? He is going to need a pretty large comb to manage all that."

He says Scotland's temperamental climate will pose a considerable challenge to barber's grooming regime.

"Wet weather is not good for moustaches," said Mr Parsons. "If it gets wet it goes curly and frizzy. Most people don't do much with their moustache on a day-to-day basis but this could be a mess by the end of day one.

"I would suggest he'll need hair straighteners, lots of moustache wax and hair spray to keep it tidy and ship-shape.

Drawing parallels with the Tennent's promotion, he said: "People often ask how I grow one and I say a regular watering of beer is as helpful as fertiliser."

Tennent's marketing manager Jane Cannon, said: "After introducing Hugh to the nation a few weeks ago on TV ads, his moustache has become a bit of a talking point and this billboard is a celebration of this."

The furry appendage and billboard, which was mounted on yesterday, will be removed within a fortnight.

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