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