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Smirnoff(R) Puts its 'Signature' on September with Multi-Tiered Ad Campaign

NORWALK, Conn., Sept. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Diageo (NYSE:DEO) is bringing to life the exciting story of Smirnoff(R), the No.1 premium vodka brand, with the launch this month of its national "Signature" advertising campaign. The multi-tiered Smirnoff program will break throughout September with ground-breaking in-theatre advertising, an interactive Smirnoff Russian heritage game through Yahoo.com, and winds around to the Smirnoff Experience in Moscow on September 29, the first of four landmark cities explored by The Smirnoff Ten, lucky consumers from around the globe who have won the opportunity to travel the world in the footsteps of Vladimir Smirnoff.

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"We felt that a tale of such magnitude deserved an equally dramatic presentation, which is why we have chosen to debut our 'Signature' ad in cinemas, online and through once-in-a-lifetime Smirnoff experiences, all throughout September," said Jennifer Van Ness, Vice President for Smirnoff in the US. "The new 'Signature' campaign celebrates one of the most fascinating stories in our industry, and we feel consumers will enjoy viewing in a variety of mediums."

Cinema as Ad Platform Unique Among Spirits Brands

Created by JWT, the "Signature" 60-second cinematic commercial is being shown in movie theatres across the country, before select R-rated motion pictures. Diageo chose the big screen to utilize the sound and visual capabilities of the cinematic experience to help consumers understand its Russian heritage and captivating brand story. The commercial features the Smirnoff signature pen stroke to trace the brand's exhilarating journey from Imperial Russia, to its rebirth in Europe by Vladimir and journey to America, to its current position as the world's leading premium spirit brand. This iconic story, directed by French auteur Edouard Salier, with beautiful music composed by Bear McCreary and sound design by 750 MPH, engrosses the viewer into the brand's rich and fascinating story.

Engaging Consumers in the Smirnoff Game Online

To further bring the "Signature" campaign to life, Smirnoff will also be partnering with Yahoo for an interactive advertising initiative, giving consumers another unique forum to learn about its Russian heritage. The communication, created by Shaw Wunderman, will come through a planned media buy with Yahoo with placement of rich-media ad units, content, and other communication elements throughout Yahoo Properties. Through Yahoo properties and tools, clues will unravel to solve a series of puzzles, where consumers will also have the opportunity to win trips to Paris -- one of Vladimir's most important stops on his journey.

Experiencing Smirnoff

The Smirnoff Experience is a multi-city, one-year program that is spanning the globe in celebration of the brand's heritage and status as the world's best-selling spirit. On September 29, the first Smirnoff Experience celebration takes The Smirnoff Ten back to Vladimir Smirnoff's birthplace in Russia, with a major event in Moscow that will feature a full roster of world- class artists, including DJ Mark Ronson and musicians Kelis and Faithless. This is the first of four events; the other parties take place in Shanghai in January 2008, Paris in May 2008 and conclude in New York in September next year.

About Diageo

Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines, and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines. Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 200 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com.

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     MEDIA CONTACT:
     Libby Tierney             Patti Costantino
     Taylor                    Diageo
     (212) 714-1280 x310       (646) 223-2040
     ltierney@taylorpr.com     patricia.costantino@diageo.com

Source: Diageo

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