Iain McLeod

The counterfeiter is a creative criminal entrepreneur, our role is to stay one step ahead of this illegal trade. As owner of the most popular global spirits brands, Diageo take a proactive approach to build consumer trust, protect brand reputation and disrupt this illegal counterfeit trade. This involves building a series of protective barriers around our brands and consumers, from leveraging government support, collaboration with enforcement agencies, legal process, in addition to market assessment programmes and brand packaging security.

Having worked at Diageo for over 20 years, my career started in the technical development and project management of brand packaging development. This evolved into the development of technical anti counterfeit solutions to protect our brands from counterfeit attack, which in turn introduced me to Brand Protection, supporting our market teams in high risk regions with the development and deployment of Brand protection programmes. This has allowed me to develop and deliver Brand Protection programmes across Asia and Africa, as well as delivering awareness and sensitization training to enforcement teams across all continents.

No two days are ever the same, the counterfeiter does not follow any rules, and continually evolves to beat the system, meaning that we need to be ever agile, learn and anticipate their next move to ensure that our brands are never easy targets.