Diageo have pulled funding from the Heartland Institute due to this stunt.http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/may/06/diageo-end-funding-heartland-institute
Diageo, one of the world's largest drinks companies, has announced it will no longer fund the Heartland Institute, a rightwing US thinktank which briefly ran a billboard campaign this week comparing people concerned about climate change to mass murderers and terrorists such as Osama bin Laden, Charles Manson and Ted Kaczynski.
On Thursday, a billboard appeared over the Eisenhower Expressway in Illinois showing a picture of Kaczynski, the Unabomber, who in 1996 was convicted of a 17-year mail bombing campaign that killed three people and injured dozens. The caption read: "I still believe in global warming. Do you?" A day later it was withdrawn.
The London-based drinks giant, which owns brands such as Guinness, Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker and Moët & Chandon, said this year that it was "reviewing any further association with Heartland" following the release online of internal Heartland documents which revealed its corporate donors as well as a plan to promote an alternative climate change curriculum in US schools. Following the widespread outcry triggered by Heartland's billboards, a Diageo spokeswoman told the Guardian: "Diageo vigorously opposes climate scepticism and our actions are proof of this. Diageo's only association with the Heartland Institute was limited to a small contribution made two years ago specifically related to an excise tax issue. Diageo has no plans to work with the Heartland Institute in the future."
IOW, they stuffed up, big time.
Sure, certain climate change skeptics will no doubt step in to fill the funding void. But more respectable companies are going to be very cautious about dealing with a group that uses such divisive tactics - especially because it would suggest their company backs such endorsement, and a majority of the public do believe in climate change and so are being labelled in such a way, and might not drink their products anymore if feeling insulted.