The most important words in research are validity and relevance. Today’s glass dropping news in the WSJ regarding the voluminous amount of empirical research that is being shown as to how alcohol consumption is directly linked to all forms of cancer – from the throat to the lung through to the bowl:
This news might seem non eventful, but the repercussions throughout the industry will be immense and intense. The lessons to learn rest with the tobacco industry only this time the process will be swifter and harsher given the sophistication of the anti-smoking lobby’s knowledge and honed approach, dramatically reducing the learning curve.
For the purveyors of alcoholic beverages in the US, let the lobbying begin. And it is a huge category in the US with many tentacles e.g. nearly 200,000 licensed bars that employ thousands of people and without question is the main thrust of the joy for millions: spirits sales are worth over $60bn annually with vodka alone representing just over $10.5bn.
“There’s nothing wrong with drinking on this side of the grave. It stops the sad amongst us from thinking and the e’er valiant, more brave.” Unknown soldier 1915
Now the salvo has been fired, we shall now witness the broadside. Of particular interest is the reaction of Paul Walsh, the enterprising CEO of Diageo who has set a record for being one of the longest standing CEOs of a Top 100 company – having been onboard since 2004. However, he is believed to be taking the top spot at Unilever, which to all intent and purpose was going to be a smooth transition. NOT now.
Let’s see what they feel is their best foot forward. It is likely to not impress us, as it will be taking an offensive posture. Fancy a pint anyone?