Diageo is gearing up for St Patrick's Day with a raft of special activity to celebrate Guinness' 250th birthday.

It will launch a marketing campaign for the off-trade, including PoS material and radio ads. A sampling programme is predicted to reach more than 300,000 shoppers in the lead-up to 17 March.

"St Pat's draws huge celebrations and retailers should maximise new PoS," said senior brand manager Richard Barlow.

Guinness' sponsorship of the Six Nations rugby tournament would also push sales, he added.

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