In case you hadn't heard, award-winning Scottish craft brewer BrewDog just became the victim of seriously shady corporate pressure by a multinational that owns many, many famous alcoholic beverage companies - Diageo. It appears Diageo outright blackmailed a charity into denying BrewDog an award it had won.
Haven't heard of Diageo? Well, you've definitely drunk their product. Here's a list of their strategic brands, which include such beverages as Johnny Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Bushmills, Smirnoff, Ketel One, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Jose Cuervo, Tanqueray and Guinness, among many others they own (such as a whole raft of well-known scotches).
I strongly encourage you to read the following two articles, outlining what happened:
This reflects poorly on Diageo no matter how much damage control, spin or messaging they apply to it.
It should also give one pause, and perhaps the opportunity to consider, "why would I purchase products from this company - especially when equal or better products are available from small, honest, independent producers?"
Personally, I prefer to buy beverages from companies that make products, not those that "manage brands." Take a look around Diageo's website. I think it reads like a press release from AB InBev. Or MolsonCoors. Practically no mention of the physical products they create or the ingredients they use - just the "brands" they own, the "experience" and "connections" felt by their customers, and how the brands are "performing."
I think this is an old, tired business model, and people are finally wising up to it. It's starting to be reflected in the sales and profit figures of the large beverage makers. They're understandably scared, and instead of changing for the better, they're grasping at straws - straws that can, apparently, for certain beverage makers, include blackmail.
So learning of this kind of inexcusable behaviour is simply the last straw on the camel's back for me.
I'm considering a boycott. Maybe you will too.