Tranquillity returns to Glenmorangie as Gaelic name challenge fails

GLENMORANGIE has won a battle with a guardian of the Gaelic language over its famous advertising slogan.

Advertising watchdogs rejected a complaint disputing the accuracy of the Broxburn whisky company’s phrase, ‘Glenmorangie - Gaelic for Glen of Tranquillity’, which it has used for almost 10 years.

The complainant, identified only as a member of the public from Midlothian, said he understood Glenmorangie came from the Gaelic word ‘glen’ which meant valley, ‘mor’ which meant big, and ‘innse’ which meant water meadow. He said the company’s commercials were misleading because they misrepresented the Gaelic language.

But Glenmorangie refuted the claims and said it understood its name was an English corruption of the Gaelic ‘Gleann mor na sith’, which translated as ‘Big glen of peace’ or ‘Glen of tranquillity’. The company said it acknowledged the meaning of Glenmorangie depended on the "perceived root of the word" and there was academic argument over how various Scottish place names may have originated, but it believed the translation it had used was correct.

It also pointed out it had received no other complaints during the time the slogan had been used despite the malt whisky brand being well known to many Gaelic speakers.

The Advertising Standards Authority consulted another expert in the language who believed the complainant’s translation was correct. But although the ASA said it acknowledged the Midlothian man’s translation, it believed that because the company had taken care to research the origins of the name it had good reason to use it. .

Glenmorangie recently reported an 18% increase in sales during the Christmas period, helped by TV and cinema advertising campaigns. It will release full year results next month.