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SMIRNOFF LAUNCHES MUSIC SERIES WITH COMMON, Q-TIP AND KRS-ONE

February 24, 2008
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Artists Paired with High-Profile Producers to Rework Hip-Hop Classics

New York, NY (February X, 2008) – Beginning this month, the makers of Smirnoff vodka are launching an exciting new Smirnoff Signature Mix Series, a campaign pairing three acclaimed rappers with contemporary beat-maestros to create new versions of iconic hip-hop songs. Nationally renowned artists Common, Q-Tip, and KRS-One are joining musical forces with Just Blaze, Cool & Dre, and DJ Premier to remix Common’s “The Light,” A Tribe Called Quest’s “Midnight,” and Boogie Down Productions’ seminal “Criminal Minded.”

The Smirnoff Signature Mix Series is part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to fostering and promoting both established and emerging musical talent. The program was developed in partnership with Cornerstone, a leading marketing firm in New York City.

Each artist/producer pairing represents a Smirnoff mixed drink made by blending one of the best-selling Smirnoff flavored vodka products with a popular mixer. “The Southside,” made with Smirnoff Green Apple flavored vodka and cranberry juice, is the inspiration for Common and Just Blaze’s collaboration. “The Blueberry Abstract,” made with Smirnoff Blueberry flavored vodka and lemonade, is linked to the partnership between Q-Tip and Cool & Dre. “The Cypha,” an exciting blend of Smirnoff Raspberry flavored vodka and pineapple juice, represents the collaboration between KRS-One and DJ Premier.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to revisit one of my signature songs and give it a breath of fresh air,” said KRS-One. “I’m grateful to Smirnoff for providing the opportunity to work with such great talent on such a ground-breaking idea and recreate hip-hop songs.”

The Smirnoff Signature Mix Series will be supported by a comprehensive radio, video, and digital promotional campaign, in addition to out-of-home, point of sale, and radio advertising, which will roll out nationally in February 2008. The Smirnoff Signature Mix program will be activated in the following key markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C. and each city will host Smirnoff Signature Mix events. Top-tier radio and club deejays across the country will receive a limited edition vinyl album containing all three remixed songs.

All three songs, their music videos, and the behind-the-scenes production footage will be available for free download exclusively at SmirnoffSignatureMixSeries.com beginning on February 19th. In addition, the website will feature messages from select performers encouraging consumers to drink responsibly. These clips will also be aired during local events.

A private launch event for the program featuring performances by all of the participating talent will be held in New York. In hosting a responsible party, Smirnoff servers will distribute bottled water and food throughout the event, while encouraging guests to “Mix Well, Drink Responsibly”.

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, wine and beer. 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 some 180 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 http://www.diageo.com.
Celebrating life, every day, everywhere, responsibly.

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