Tennent’s ordered to cover up giant murals on pubs

The murals in Rose Street. Picture: Scott Taylor
The murals in Rose Street. Picture: Scott Taylor
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Brewer Tennent’s has been caught brewing up trouble after painting huge murals on the sides of two city pubs without council permission.

The Shoogly Peg and Rose & Crown pubs in Rose Street joined forces with the brand at the end of July to commission renowned graffiti artist Smug to create the colourful artworks.

Based on the famous “There’s been a murder” Tennent’s Lager TV advertising campaign of the early 2000s, the distinctive murals – which span the height of the entire first floor – currently stare out from the gable end walls of the two bars.

But now council chiefs have demanded the artworks are covered up after receiving an anonymous complaint from a disgruntled resident.

City planners argue the buildings are B-listed and that no permission was ever given for the murals.

And Tennent’s said it fully accepted the council’s verdict – despite being “disappointed”.

George Kyle, head of sponsorship and PR at the Glasgow-based brewery, said the company had been “caught red-handed”.

He said: “It turns out we should have asked for permission from the council to paint the murals on the pub walls, so sadly they will meet an untimely end next week. It’s a real shame, the murals were really eye-catching and the punters loved them, but according to the council we’re guilty as charged and plan to cover them up next week.”

The original commercials the paintings are based on followed a Taggart-style police hunt for the cold-blooded murderers of pints across Scotland’s towns and cities.

Taking the phrase “I could murder a pint” literally, they opened on a dark world populated by pints of Tennent’s Lager – with two detective pints trying to come to terms with a gruesome murder.

Discovering a fellow pint has been drained of all its fluids, a pencil sketch from a witness eventually points to a human hand as the killer.

Designed by Edinburgh-based advertising firm The Leith Agency – the brains behind Irn-Bru’s “Phenomenal” commercials and 
seasonal Snowman spoof – the famous adverts boasted the voice of Rebus actor Ken Stott and Trainspotting’s Ewen Bremner, as well as Silent Witness’s Amanda Burton playing a pathologist pint.

Meanwhile, Wallace and Gromit creator Aardman Animations found a way of puppeteering real pints of Tennent’s and then shot live-action sequences on sets and in a scaled-down city morgue.

The Rose Street murals will be removed later this month, but a similar “Pintlings” artwork can also be seen on the wall outside Tennent’s Wellpark brewery in Glasgow’s East End.

A council spokeswoman said: “The buildings are category B-listed and the owner has agreed to remove the murals after the council received a complaint about them.”