Global drinks giant Diageo, custodian of iconic brands such as Johnny Walker, Smirnoff, Jose Cuervo, Guinness and Moet & Chandon found itself at the centre of a public relations storm this week after it was alleged that they unfairly intervened at an annual drink industry awards event to prevent a rival from picking up an award.
Independent Scottish brewer, BrewDog claimed that the drinks giant Diageo had brought undue pressure to bear on the organizers of the event to override the decision of the judges to give them an award, allegedly stating that ‘under no circumstances could BrewDog be allowed to win’.
Here in New York last week, digital media and advertising commentators were all talking about the role that digital and in particular, social media, was going to play during the Super Bowl TV ad breaks. With advertisers paying about $3.5 million for a slot, this has been another record year for TV ad revenue and the show was the most watched TV event in American History.
Sunday night was going to be #Hashtag-Heaven, we were told – or at least a #FacebookFrenzy, with brands falling over themselves to drive people off their 47 inch flatscreens and onto their other devices – the so-called ‘second screen’. So you’d think that the ad execs would have thought the web in all its forms - mobile, tablet and laptop - would be the place to go make sure they extended the reach and level of audience engagement worthy of such an expensive commodity.
You’d be wrong.