Vineet Mehra

Peter Isaia

Peter Isaia

Marketing and Technology


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Trendsetters:  Diageo's Peter Isaia Sees a New Dynamic between the Creative Idea and Feedback from Measurement

Peter Isaia understands the importance of building agency relationships to help deliver brand needs— effectively and efficiently. He also believes in the power of the creative idea.

As Diageo's Category Director of Global Procurement for Creative Ideation & Agencies, he has spent 20 years first helping build the company's Marketing Services team to support Advertising, Media, Sponsorship, Public Relations, Digital and Research functions then moved into the Procurement function.  He joined Diageo when it was formed through the merger of Grand Metropolitan and Guinness.  Today, the company is a global leader in beverage alcohol with a footprint in 180 countries and a portfolio of over 200 brands across the spirits and beer categories, including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Tanqueray and Guinness.  

After two decades with Diageo, Peter Isaia likes to say that he continues to embrace change and works hard to "get stuff done."

Commenting at an Internationalist/ANA Think Tank on "New Agency Models"earlier this month, he made a statement that resonated with many of his fellow marketers: "Creative will continue to drive engagement.  Certainly, adjusting creative, so that it responds to feedback from measurement, will enhance engagement.  However, we should keep in mind that the creative idea must rule."

He underscored that today's client-side operations consist of highly-flexible marketing teams. "Client CP teams know the consumer better than anyone and can identify their behaviors. Media partners can help plan how best to reach these consumers, and the solution may not always be various forms of media – it may be partnerships, events, activations etc.” 

However, he emphasized that "Creative agencies are unique with their special talents to take a brand's purpose and transform it to a consumer-facing articulation."While he admitted that some of this transformation is now based on the outcomes and interpretation of many sets of data, he also stressed that "the idea will come from the creative talents at agencies we know and love. It then becomes the team: Brand, Planning and Agency to curate, measure and adjust."

As the model shifts, there is an opportunity to balance work with compensation, which he thinks will be a topic of discussion between Agencies and Clients.

"Diageo's ambition,"says Peter Isaia, "is to be one of the best performing, most trusted and respected consumer products companies in the world.  This also applies to how we work with our agency partners, and while there are many details to consider under a scenario like this, it could be an interesting discussion for changing times when people are looking to new models."


Peter Isaia joined Diageo in 1998 as part of the new company's Marketing Services team. In 2005, this group was incorporated into the marketing brand team function, and Procurement was introduced in North America. He joined the Demand Procurement team with oversight for Media, and then expanded his responsibilities to the Ideation Functions.  Media was later moved internally to a dedicated expert team with a separate Procurement member supporting the media team.

Prior to his career at Diageo, he served as a Vice President at Grey Advertising.