Blog: Is SABMiller's CEO a secret Frank Zappa fan?

James Wilmore | 21 February 2013

Does Graham Mackay, SABMiller's outgoing top man, have a secret penchant for the late American jazz-rock musician and producer Frank Zappa?

This may seem an odd question to pose. But, the reason I ask is that Mackay treated his (I'm guessing slightly bemused) audience at the CAGNY conference this week to some wisdom from the 60's avant-gardist.

At one point in his presentation, the CEO produced a slide with this Zappa-attributed quote: “You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.”

Mackay's point was that SABMiller aims to take a local approach in its overseas ventures.

As the slide appeared, Mackay said: “Of course we all feel deeply what the sage on the screen expressed.”

And then, with a wistful air, he added: “There was a man not troubled by self-doubt: You can tell by looking at his moustache.”

Perhaps, then, when Mackay finally hangs up his pinstripes, he'll spend his days nodding along to the likes of Freak Out! And Sheikh Yerbouti. 

There's an image for you.

Follow me on Twitter @jamescwilmore



Are you fodmap-compliant? The latest health fad uncovered

Forget gluten-free. Fodmaps are the latest food trend, and if you work in the soft drinks industry it is important to know where you stand with them....


Baileys and the "bellwether of naffness"

Companies are very protective of their brand image. So it is refreshing to hear Diageo's Garbhan O’Bric, the global brand director for Baileys, speak the unvarnished truth when talking about the lique...


From pixels to pilsner - how video games are moving into alcohol

Alcohol companies love a good movie tie-in. A brush with Hollywood glamour seems to give marketers the warm and fuzzies, judging by the number of deals done over the past few years. The new James Bond...


Tax Free World Association - Day three: Beam Suntory's big boat and Patron's virtual home

just-drinks is in Cannes this week at the Tax Free World Association show. Here's the second part of Andy Morton's blog, which will keep you up-to-date at one of the most important dates in the Trave...

just-drinks homepage

Forgot your password?