By Kevin O’Sullivan
A question to you dear marketing gurus. Okay, so I realise that times are tough and ideas short this year and that you have all decided that history and brand recognition go so strongly hand-in-hand that it’s best to inundate us with it on everything from Guinness to Persil to Hibernian Aviva (‘look, you won’t even notice our name change’) to the GAA to the Dart to forty years of Penneys bags. And I’ll admit that Smirnoff have always made much of their vodka as the tipple of choice for Russia’s royal family. But – and forgive me if my historian’s brain is making too much of a leap here – before you came up with the slogan ‘We can’t bring back the Czars’ did any of you ever stop to wonder what life under the Czars was like? Or why we (or indeed the people of Russia) would want to bring them back? A case of ‘Communists=bad, therefore what they replaced=good’ perhaps?