Diageo announced yesterday that it will begin providing US consumers with detailed product information on its brand labels.

The move is in response to a petition filed with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau earlier this week by the National Consumers League, the Center for Science in the public interest and others. The groups want advice labels put on alcoholic beverage containers detailing "alcohol facts."

Guy L. Smith, Diageo executive vice president said, "Diageo is a consumer-focused company.  Starting in 2004, Diageo North America will begin providing American consumers with alcohol content, serving size, macro-nutrients, carbohydrates and calories for its products. This consumer data will be included on our websites, in printed promotional materials, and ultimately on packaging materials."

Responding to the petition, Diageo endorsed the broad concept proposed by the coalition of consumer groups. "We applaud the coalition of consumer advocacy organizations for their proposals to provide increased product information to consumers and endorse its intent and purposes," Smith said.

Diageo North America, however, opposes any mandatory requirements on labeling. Smith said: "More government regulation is just not necessary. Voluntary approaches to providing consumer information will work. Broad mandates from government are not called for."