Keep Johnnie Walker in Kilmarnock


March on John Finnie Street

Building on the phenomenal success of the march and rally on Sunday, the Keep Johnnie Walker in Kilmarnock campaign now enters a new phase, as messages of support flood in from countries across the globe, via the campaign website.

To echo the words of Kilmarnock’s ither famous poet, Rab Wilson, who penned “Stridin’ Forrit!”, an honest and passionate account of the events surrounding Diageo’s recent announcement to close its bottling plant in Kilmarnock:

Ye’re kent in Kent, an Timbuktu,
There’s elbucks jink in Kalamazoo

Indeed the campaign website has been visited by people in no fewer than 29 different countries including Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, Greece, Poland, Thailand, China, Japan and Russia.

At 1:30pm on Sunday, just as the march from Howard Park reached its halfway point on Hill Street, organisers received word that the website had crashed, due to the volume of visitors trying to watch the event unfold online.

The Cross Party Working Group for the campaign said: “The overseas response for the campaign to date has been very encouraging. Diageo is a global company; Johnnie Walker is a global brand therefore it makes perfect sense for us to take this campaign to a wider global audience.

“Next week, in partnership with the World Burns Federation, we will send campaign information to Burns associations all over the world. Our twin town contacts are also expressing their support. Dr Curtis Smith, Town Mayor of Kilmarnock, Virginia, USA, has
signed a Resolution of Support to express his support to Keep Johnnie Walker in Kilmarnock.”

Johnnie Walker and Kilmarnock are synonymous in the minds of expats and whisky drinkers throughout the world. Kilmarnock is known as the home of Johnnie Walker in the same way as Dublin is the home of Guinness.  Our fight to save this unique brand identity is one which is touching people far and wide.”

Coverage of the event has featured in newspapers and in television broadcasts across the world, including Belgium, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and America.

By web, by mail, by TV, by radio, by press or by tweets, from New York to New Zealand and from Canada to Krakow, the campaign message is spreading across the globe.

For further information, visit

  1. […] on Sunday’s protest of Diageo’s closing of Johnnie Walker bottling facilities in […]

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