Blog: Cameron's Smirnoff quip: A good idea?

James Wilmore | 2 October 2013

UK Prime Minister David Cameron used Diageo's Smirnoff brand as a weapon for a spot of political retaliation during his speech at the Conservative Party conference today (2 October).

In a counter-dig at a Russian official's reported “small island” comment about Britain last month, Cameron bragged that the world's biggest-selling vodka - Smirnoff - is actually produced in the UK. In Fife, Scotland, to be precise.

One wonders, however, how Diageo's bigwigs feel about Cameron highlighting this fact? Does the average consumer know that Smirnoff is made in Fife? Does s/he perhaps think of it as a Russian brand? (Interestingly, it was originally created in a Moscow distillery in the 1860s). 

Hugo Rifkind, a journalist for The Times, tweeted during the speech: “Suspect Smirnoff won't be too thrilled by that.” Other tweeters expressed surprise at discovering the production home of the vodka brand.

Might former CEO Paul Walsh, who is still involved with Diageo, and was, until last year, part of the Government's Business Advisory Group, be having a word with Cameron?

Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Smirnoff, Guinness, Diageo

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