Diageo apologises for BrewDog award veto

Diageo has issued an “unreserved apology” to BrewDog after allegations that it vetoed an award the independent brewer was set to win.


The Scottish-based company accused Diageo of abusing its position as sponsor of British Institute of Inkeepers Scotland’s annual awards to force the organising committee to deny it the title “Bar Operator of the Year 2012”.

BrewDog took to Twitter earlier today (9 May) to raise awareness of what it claims were the “dirty tricks” employed by the Guinness maker, with the hashtag #AndTheWinnerIsNot trending on Twitter.

In a statement, a spokesman for Diageo says: “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 any way 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.”

James Watt, cofounder at BrewDog, had previously described Diageo’s actions as “shameless, misguided and embarrassing”. It is not known if he accepts Diageo’s apology.

It is not clear why anyone at Diageo would have an issue with BrewDog winning the award. Some of the brand’s marketing has proven controversial in the past, however, receiving sanction from The Portman Group in 2009 for “irresponsible” marketing of an 18.2% strength beer.

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