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Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff Named as Two of Interbrand's 2014 "Best Global Brands"

NORWALK, Conn., Oct. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Diageo, a global leader in beverage alcohol, is once again represented on the Interbrand "Best Global Brands" list by two of its core brands, Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff. This ranking of the top 100 most valuable global brands contains only six brands in the Alcohol sector, including the two from Diageo.  With a brand value of $4,823 million according to Interbrand, up two percent from the 2013 report, Johnnie Walker was recognized for "its versatility and its strategy rooted in innovation, leadership and storytelling."  Smirnoff's brand value increased by eight percent, from the 2013 report, to $4,609 million in recognition of its standing as the world's leading premium vodka. Interbrand released the fifteenth annual report last week, and presented the awards at a ceremony held at the New York Stock Exchange.

Johnnie Walker, the number one Scotch whisky in the world (Impact Databank 2014) was identified as the "world's most powerful drinks brand" (Spirits Business June 2014), with the strength of its global presence among the reasons Interbrand selected it. The Johnnie Walker Houses – Diageo now has four in Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul and Chengdu – are mentioned as an effective medium to "communicate the brand's authenticity" (a particular brand strength according to the report) and "educate consumers on its intense flavor blends and brand history." The Johnnie Walker trademark is also recognized for the breadth of its portfolio with the different variants enabling the brand to access different consumers and occasions. Innovation, successful partnerships and relevance to emerging market consumers were also listed as key factors contributing to Johnnie Walker's performance in this year's report.  Johnnie Walker was ranked #86 on the 2014 "Best Global Brands" list.

Smirnoff, the number one premium vodka in the world (Impact Databank 2014) is mentioned in the report as "one of the most recognizable spirits brands" renowned for its "playful personality, sustained consistency, differentiation, and relevance" that are vital in the fiercely competitive drinks category. Referencing the successful launch of the new "Exclusively for Everybody" campaign, Smirnoff is lauded as a brand that "has the appeal of a premium brand without being pretentious or elitist." Smirnoff is also quoted in the report as "having innovation in its DNA" while "taking pride in continuing to refine the filtration methods of its founder." And the report concludes: "If Smirnoff continues to innovate, increase relevance, and grow in new markets, the good times will continue."  Smirnoff was ranked #90 on the 2014 "Best Global Brands" list.

"John Walker and Pyotr Smirnov were two pioneering entrepreneurs who created brands of exceptional quality that would be known and trusted for nearly two centuries," said Syl Saller, Chief Marketing Officer, Diageo Plc. "For Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff to be recognized on the Best Global Brands list is a tribute to the vision of their founders and to the marketing teams all over the world who keep them fresh and relevant today."

Interbrand publishes the ranking of the top 100 brands based on a unique methodology analyzing the many ways a brand touches and benefits an organization, from attracting top talent to delivering on customer expectations. Three key aspects contribute to a brand's value: the financial performance of the branded products or services, the role of brand in the purchase decision process and the strength of the brand to command a premium price or secure earnings for the company.

About Diageo
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits, beer and wine categories.  These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Buchanan's, Windsor and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world.  The company is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO).  For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com.  Visit Diageo's global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.

About Interbrand
Founded in 1974, Interbrand (www.Interbrand.com) is the world's leading brand consultancy. With nearly 40 offices in 27 countries, Interbrand's combination of rigorous strategy, analytics, and world-class design enables it to assist clients in creating and managing brand value effectively across all touchpoints, in all market dynamics. By understanding and anticipating the changings needs and demands of consumers, the firm helps its clients across industries, to drive greater business growth while solving their most pressing business challenges. Interbrand is widely recognized for its annual Best Global Brands report, the definitive guide to the world's most valuable brands, as well as its Best Global Green Brands report, which identifies the gap between customer perception and a brand's performance relative txo sustainability. It is also known for having created brandchannel.com, a Webby-award winning resource about brand marketing and branding. Interbrand is part of the Omnicom Inc., (NYSE: OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com) network of agencies. For more information, please visit us at Interbrand.com and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

SOURCE Diageo

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