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Bars ban Diageo brands in Johnnie Walker protest

Two Scottish bars are refusing to sell Diageo products in protest at the drinks giant’s plans to close two Johnnie Walker sites in the country.

The shelves at Lebowskis in Glasgow and Edinburgh have been stripped of all Diageo brands, including Guinness, Smirnoff, Bailey’s and Bell’s.

Managers have also placed stickers over more than 20 bottles of whisky, gin, vodka and other spirits and liqueurs at the bars, urging customers to support their opposition to the closures and sign a petition against the plans.

Union bosses and industry figures hope the campaign will help persuade Diageo to reconsider its plans to close the plants in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire and Port Dundas, Glasgow.

The stickers say: "Lebowskis supports the Kilmarnock workers. We have boycotted all Diageo spirits in protest.

"Save the soul of Johnnie Walker. Keep it in Kilmarnock."

Owner Graham Suttle, 30, told the Daily Record: “We cannot stand back and watch this global company rip the heart and soul out of Scotland.

"The best way to show our support for the workers and keep Johnnie Walker in Kilmarnock is to hit Diageo where it hurts – in the pocket."

Thousands of customers have already signed the petition, according to Suttle, who has called on other bars to follow his lead and ban Diageo products.

Alan Lodge, 12.08.2009 

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