Winners and losers – BrewDog vs Diageo

The Emirates Stadium played host to this years Drum Marketing Awards. McCann Manchester and Aldi Stores continued to reap the rewards of their ‘Aldi Likes Brands’ campaign. After winning the Roses Advertising and Design Awards Grand Prix the campaign went on to win the Chairman’s Award at the Drum Marketing Awards 2012.

What turned out to be the real excitement of awards season was the controversial clash between BrewDog and Diageo at the BII (British Institute of Innkeeping) awards. It was all set for the Award’s Grand Prix to be taken home by BrewDog, and despite the award being engraved with BrewDog as the winner, it was instead Diageo that was announced at the ceremony.

BrewDog hit back by posting an explosive blog entry that accused Diageo of abusing its power as a sponsor of the British Institute of Inkeeping (BII). In the blog, which has since been amass with comments, a judge who was sitting at the BrewDog table was quoted as saying “this simply cannot be, the independent judging panel voted for BrewDog as clear winners of the award.”

This is followed by a shocking comment from chairman of the award committee, Kenny Mitchell, saying “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.”

In disbelief Mitchell is quoted as saying “We were 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.”

BrewDog took to social media to vent their frustrations by posting to Twitter with the hashtag #AndTheWinnerIsNot, which since the night has trended worldwide.

Diageo responded to the criticisms saying: “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 anyway 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.”