From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Learn more about corporations VOTING to rewrite our laws.

Diageo plc is a global consolidated liquor company that previously owned Burger King.

Formed in 1997 when Guinness merged with food and spirits company Grand Metropolitan, Diageo was the world's largest producer of alcoholic drinks in 2011. When Diageo purchased Seagram's, it obtained the brands Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, and VO Canadian. Based in London, the company sells in 200 countries. For 2010, Diageo had a revenue of $14.6 billion.[1] CEO Paul Walsh received $9.68 million in compensation in 2009 according to the Guardian,[2] but receives $5.09 million annually in 2011, according to Reuters.[3]

Formerly known as Grand Metropolitan plc.

Violation Tracker
Discover Which Corporations are the Biggest Violators of Environmental, Health and Safety Laws in the United States
Violation Tracker is the first national search engine on corporate misconduct covering environmental, health, and safety cases initiated by 13 federal regulatory agencies. Violation Tracker is produced by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First. Click here to access Violation Tracker.

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

DIAGEO is a former member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

A list of ALEC Corporation that cut ties with ALEC can be found here.

Kenneth Lane, Vice President of Government & Trade Relations, is Diageo's representative on ALEC's corporate ("Private Enterprise") board as of 2011.[4]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our ExposedbyCMD.org site.

DIAGEO has also hosted VIP events for legislators at ALEC meetings. Pictures from the 2010 ALEC Annual Meeting, for example, include a set of photographs from the "Diageo Wine and Cheese Reception."[5]


Brands under Diageo include: Crown Royal, Johnnie Walker, J&B, Windsor Premier, Buchanan's, Bushmills, Smirnoff, Ketel One, Ciroc, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Jose Cuervo, Tanqueray, and Guinness.[6]

Liquor Advertising on TV

In 2002, Diageo and NBC signed a deal to advertise hard liquor, the first instance of hard liquor advertising on TV in 50 years.[1] The deal created a public outcry, particularly from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, that resulted in the deal eventually collapsing.[2]

Political contributions

In 2010, Open Secrets reports that DIAGEO North America spent $208,768 in federal political contributions. House Democrats received $60,483 and Republicans $24,097. Senate Democrats received $23,436 and Republicans $19,736.[7]

Diageo North America gave $61,600 to federal candidates in the 2006 election through its political action committee - 31% to Democrats, 53% to Republicans, and 16% to independent Joseph Lieberman (I-CT). [8]


The most recent lobbying information states that Diageo North America spent $3,220,000 for lobbying in 2006. In-house lobbyists as well as five lobbying firms were used, including DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary and Quinn Gillespie & Associates. [9]

Self-Regulation Questioned

On October 18 2005, Diageo PLC threw its weight behind the Portman Group, the industry's self-appointed regulatory body on alcohol, following moves by the UK government to question its relevance in the light of 24-hour licensing and the high levels of so-called 'binge-drinking' among young adults. [10]

The government's committee on alcohol abuse is understood to be unhappy with the Portman Group's stance on alcohol abuse and some academics are calling for a more independent review body. [10]

Annual Revenue

Operating Revenue: $14.6 billion
Gross Operating Profit: $9.1 billion
Total Net Income: $2.4 billion


Operating Revenue: $15.3 billion
Gross Operating Profit: $9.4 billion
Total Net Income: $2.6 billion


Operating Revenue: $16.1 billion
Gross Operating Profit: $10.1 billion
Total Net Income: $3.2 billion


Accessed June 2015: [14]


  • Paul Walsh - CEO -
  • Deirdre Mahlan - CFO -
  • Ron Anderson - Chief Customer Officer -
  • Nich Blazquez - President, Diageo Africa -
  • Andy Fennell - Chief Marketing Officer -
  • Stuart Fletcher - President, International Diageo -
  • Gilbert Ghostine - President, Asia Pacific -
  • David Gosnell - President, Global Supply and Procurement -
  • Jim Grover - Director of Global Business Support -
  • Ivan Menezes - President, North America and Chairman, Asia Pacific -
  • Randy Millian - President, Latin America -
  • Andrew Morgan - President, Europe -
  • Tim Proctor - General Counsel -
  • Larry Schwartz - President, Diageo USA -
  • Gareth Williams - Human Resources Director -
  • Ian Wright - Corporate Relations Director -

Selected members of the Board of Directors: [15]

Contact Info

8 Henrietta Place
W1G 0NB, United Kingdom
Phone: +44-20-7927-5200
Fax: +44-20-7927-4600
Web: http://www.diageo.co.uk

U.S. office:
801 Main Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06901
Phone: 203-229-2100
Fax: 203-229-8901
Web: http://www.diageo.com

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. DEO Annual Financials,"MarketWatch.com"
  2. Simon Goodley, "Hollick review could boost executive pay at Diageo," Guardian, September 14, 2010
  3. "Walsh, Paul: Bio & Compensation," Reuters, accessed June 28, 2011
  4. Private Enterprise Board, ALEC website, accessed July 8, 2011.
  5. Kurstin Roe Photography ALEC-23 Diageo Wine and Cheese Reception, official photographer's website, accessible via link from alec.org, accessed June 9, 2011
  6. Strategic Brands,"Diageo.com"
  7. Federal Contributions, "Open Secrets"
  8. 2006 PAC Summary Data, Open Secrets, accessed September 2007.
  9. Diageo North America lobbying expenses, Open Secrets.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Diageo backs Portman Group in row over alcohol abuse", Forbes, accessed October 18, 2005.
  11. DEO Annual Income Statement,"MarketWatch.com"
  12. DEO Annual Income Statement,"MarketWatch.com"
  13. DEO Annual Income Statement,"MarketWatch.com"
  14. Board, Diageo, accessed June 4, 2015.
  15. Board of Directors, Diageo, accessed September 2007.