Earlier this week, an internet campaign to boycott Scotch whisky and other Scottish products began in the US in anger at the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi. Activists set up a website, boycottscotland.com, calling on Americans to avoid travelling to Scotland and refrain from buying Scottish and UK products.

Here are five other high-profile boycott campaigns against drinks companies.

In July 2008, the French Health Minister advised parents to boycott Red Bull. Roselyne Bachelot described Red Bull as an "explosive cocktail when mixed with alcohol", and of no interest in either energy or nutrition terms. The minister said that the French National Health Institute was keeping track of the situation, and that the drink was under investigation with studies underway in France and Europe. Bachelot reminded listeners that the legalisation of Red Bull, banned for over ten years in France and approved for sale as of this month by Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, was made against the recommendation of her Ministry.

In January 2007, around 20 pubs in France stopped selling Guinness in protest at the high selling prices of the stout in the country and the lack of support from the brand's distributor. Because of distributor prices, Pierre-Philippe Bourdel, manager of The General Humbert's in La Rochelle, said he had to sell a pint of Guinness at EUR6 (US$7.77), or EUR9 in Paris, compared to EUR4.20 in Ireland. Bourdel said the merchandising he was getting from Guinness was minimal and often unsuitable, and that he had not seen anyone from Diageo for over a year.

In June 2006, hip-hop star Jay-Z called for a boycott of Champagne Louis Roederer, following accusations that one of its executives had made racist comments. At the time, president Frederic Rouzaud was quoted in The Economist magazine as observing the firm's association with the rap world with "curiosity and serenity". Jay-Z said he viewed the comments as "racist" and would no longer support any of his products through his various brands.

Shortly after the Catalan parliament voted overwhelmingly in late September 2005 to declare Catalonia a "nation" within Spain, furious Spaniards from other parts of the country declared a Cava sparkling wine boycott. The campaign, which spread by telephone text message, is believed to have dented Freixenet's Spanish sales for 2003-2004 by 4%, a loss of about 3m bottles.

Perhaps the most high-profile consumer boycott of recent years, though, has been that against Nestlé. Since the 1970s, campaign groups have called on consumers to boycott the company's products over its alleged formula milk selling strategy in poor countries. However, the movement has hardly dented the group's sales, which is perhaps a reminder of how short-lived and fruitless many consumer boycotts turn out to be.