Taiwan's legislature passed a resolution to ban Diageo's products for a year on Saturday.

The prohibition comes after an ad for Smirnoff on the London Underground, which Taiwan said denigrated its country's industries.

The advertisement showed a half-wrapped Christmas present with a label that said: "Warning, This gift will break down on Christmas morning. Replacement parts available from service centre. Box no 260 Taiwan. Allow 365 working days for delivery."

Diageo hopes to make amends by launching adverts that praise Taiwan's high-tech industry. It promised to ensure similar gaffes did not happen again.

The embarrassment is enough to make chief executive Paul Walsh feel a tad lonely. He is advertising on Friends United for old pals who were in the class of 1971 at Crompton comprehensive in Oldham.
The Business 12/01/03 page 36 (Business Tracker), page 14 (Prufrock)