Blog: Diageo's "dirty trick" brews up a Twitter storm
James Wilmore | 10 May 2012
One of BrewDog's understated PR 'episodes'
There really is nowhere to hide on Twitter. Particularly when you're a global corporation and you've been caught with your pants down, metaphorically speaking, by a notoriously PR-savvy independent brewer.
Step forward Diageo, the latest giant to feel the wrath of Tweeters.
Late yesterday, the company's name was trending – and not for the kind of reasons it would hope.
It came after maverick Scottish brewer BrewDog accused the drinks firm of intervening to stop them winning 'Bar Operator of the Year' at an awards ceremony in Scotland.
Apparently BrewDog got the judges' vote, but a (probably now former) representative of Diageo, sponsors of the awards, intervened to stop the brewer bagging the title.
Diageo has since owned up, offering this mea culpa:
“There was a serious misjudgement by Diageo staff at the awards dinner on Sunday evening in relation to the Bar Operator of the Year Award, which does not reflect in anyway Diageo’s corporate values and behaviour.
“We would like to apologise unreservedly to BrewDog and to the British Institute of Innkeeping for this error of judgement and we will be contacting both organisations imminently to express our regret for this unfortunate incident.”
Bad timing as well, as Diageo CEO Paul Walsh this week addressed the Ethical Corporation's Responsible Business Summit.
From our sources, we understand it is likely the Diageo representative involved went 'rogue' on the night and the incident points more to a personal grudge, rather than company-wide ill-feeling towards Brewdog. The Scottish brewer produces some fine craft beers, but nothing that would obviously worry Diageo.
Strangely though, the whole hoo-ha, while no doubt gutting for the staff at Brewdog's shortlisted bar, has been a PR win for the indie brewer.
As someone going under the name Flat Caps Coffee tweeted earlier : “Diageo do @brewdog a MASSIVE PR favour! Prob better than winning the award would have”.
While earlier, BrewDog lamented the fact on its official Twitter feed that Diageo was trending instead of their company name.
It's a funny old game.
Could it happen? According to this report, a section of the beer community wants to ditch the word craft. They prefer instead the term “Indie” for brewers they believe follow the enlightened path of t...
The global elite were in Switzerland last week for the World Economic Forum in Davos, the annual corporate huddle for the rich and powerful. The CEO of The Coca-Cola Co, Muhtar Kent, was there too, de...
With The Coca-Cola Co stealing yesterday's limelight with its new united marketing strategy for brand Coke yesterday, a Forbes interview with PepsiCo North America Beverages' new CMO, Seth Kaufman, sl...
It is a bold attempt to regain a measure of control in the ever-spiraling debate about sugar. But will The Coca-Cola Co's new marketing strategy - which for the first time ties all of the Coke family ...
- What's so special about Islay anyway? - Comment
- Six key trends for alcoholic drinks in 2016
- What do Bourbon and craft beer have in common?
- Ten things to know about spirits in the US
- Aus wine industry pays price for past failures
- Alcohol industry warning over Kroger plan
- SABMiller hits back in UK corporation tax row
- Diageo's Orphan Barrel The Gifted Horse - NPD
- Suntory bids for Lucozade, Ribena Nigerian network
- American rye whiskey sales leap 600% in five years
- What Next for Beer and Brewers Following the MegaBrew Deal?
- Global travel retail insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global Beer Trends 2015 : Global Beer Trends and Long-term Forecasts
- Global Whiskey Market 2016-2020
- Global sparkling wine insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research