US: Pernod quits spirits trade body
The French company has this week written to The Century Council - an organisation of distillers which combats the negative effects of drinking alcohol - and said it will leave the body in a disagreement over sponsorship of motor sport events. Among the issues the council covers is that of drunk driving.
While the council backs its members' associations with motor sports, Pernod told the body: "We at Pernod Ricard firmly believe that it is inappropriate for the distilled spirits industry to engage in sponsorship of motor sports."
Speaking to just-drinks today (15 September), a spokesperson for Pernod clarified the matter. "Whilst we don't object to our competitors' sponsorship of ( a US motor racing event) NASCAR, we do object when their sponsorship involves the Century Council," the spokesperson said.
Among the nine members of the council, three of them - Diageo, Fortune Brands and Brown-Forman - sponsor NASCAR teams. At the same time, Diageo's Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky brand sponsors McLaren Mercedes' Formula 1 team.
Pernod's resignation will not take effect until November, and speculation suggests that the council is looking at a compromise solution for the problem. No-one at the council was available for comment when contacted by just-drinks today.
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