Whisky ban at ‘The Gathering’ to keep sponsor happy

Scottish Whisky

Scottish Whisky

Homecoming’s main event – ‘The Gathering’ has come under attack when it issued a ban on all whisky products citing a conflict of interest with one of it’s main sponsors Diageo.

This action has angered the smaller distileries who say the orgainsers of The Gathering and Homecoming have going against their original promise of promoting small companies.

The only whisky allowed is the Diageo range of whiskies. Diageo agreed to sponsor The Gathering provided that no other whiskies apart from their own be showcased.

Organisers of The Gathering were forced to apologise after a number of whisky firms had to be turned away, but blamed a breakdown in communications.

Fiona Richmond, project manager at Scotland Food and Drink, said:
“It’s a critical part of the food and drink industry and we need to keep alive small independent producers.”

Jamie Sempill, director of The Gathering, said: “There will not be any whisky products at all available at the Scottish Produce Market, simply because we will have a separate whisky fair.

“It would be completely going against the spirit of our agreement with Diageo, who have been superb sponsors, if we were to allow other whisky producers to take space.”

About Amanda Moffet

I run www.scotclans.com with Rodger Moffet. Live in Edinburgh and love travelling around Scotland gathering stories.

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One thought on “Whisky ban at ‘The Gathering’ to keep sponsor happy

  1. amandamoffet

    Diageo has responded to the original Scotsman artcle:

    Whisky business
    Published Date: 15 May 2009
    I would like to respond to the alarming misrepresentation of Diageo’s sponsorship of “The Gathering” (your report, 14 May).
    “The Gathering” is a commercial undertaking that required money from commercial sponsors to make the event happen. We believe approaches were made to a number of Scotch Whisky producers including Diageo. After some negotiation, Diageo agreed to sponsor the event on terms that are absolutely standard for any commercial sponsorship – exclusivity for Diageo whisky brands being a core part of the agreement as it would be in any brand sponsorship of any event.
    When we entered this sponsorship we were not aware of the plans for a food and drink festival associated with “The Gathering”. This has come as a surprise to us and we can understand the views of other producers who feel they have been denied access. Scotland’s whisky industry has a rich diversity of brands and cultures and these deserve to be celebrated.
    Diageo is the largest single supporter of “The Homecoming” and just this month unveiled in Edinburgh the world’s largest collection of Scotch Whisky bottles and memorabilia, bought by Diageo from a Brazilian collector and brought back to Scotland as part of our commitment to Homecoming.
    Anyone visiting the Diageo Claive Vadiz Collection in the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh will notice that it contains Scotch Whisky brands from producers across the industry.
    Director, Corporate Relations, Diageo Whisky Edinburgh Park Lochside Way


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