Global drinks giant, Diageo has issued an unreserved apology for the ‘serious misjudgement by Diageo staff’ at an awards dinner.
In a statement Diageo said: ‘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.’
The incident happened last Sunday when BrewDog surprisingly was not announced as the winner of ‘Bar Operator of the Year 2012’, even though their name was engraved on the award.
It is alleged that as the main sponsor of the event, Diageo threatened to withdraw their support for the British Institute of Inkeepers Scotland’s annual awards if the award was given to BrewDog. Diageo staff also threatened to withdraw future sponsorship if the award was given to their rivals.
BrewDog revealed in their blog that two days after the event they took a call from Kenny Mitchell, Chairman of the BII in Scotland stating: ‘Diageo (the main sponsor) approached us at the start of the meal and said under no circumstances could the award be given to BrewDog. They said if this happened they would pull their sponsorship from all future BII events and their representatives would not present any of the awards on the evening.’
We were as gobsmacked as you by Diageo’s behaviour. We made the wrong decision under extreme pressure. We were blackmailed and bullied by Diageo. We should have stuck to our guns and gave the award to BrewDog.’