Diageo claims responsible drinking ad success

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Responsible drinking, Alcoholism, Drinking culture, Alcohol

Diageo claims that its recent television advertising campaign
promoting responsible drinking is bringing major benefits to both
consumers and its own brand identity.

According to the group, 66 per cent of those surveyed about the campaign said they would reconsider how they drink alcohol.​The survey, between 29 May to 6 June, queried consumers on the adverts, which ran on UK television earlier this year. The claims will come as a boost to the industry, which is increasingly coming under scrutiny from legislators over the actions companies are taking to prevent irresponsible drinking. The findings therefore could be vital in preventing further crackdowns in alcohol manufacturing and advertising in the bloc, highlighting the benefits for manufacturers of current corporate social responsibility (CSR) drives. The testing, conducted by Millward Brown on 300 participants all over 18, focused on two adverts commissioned by Diageo that aired on both national terrestrial and satellite channels in May on the dangers of drinking excessively. A further 80 per cent of those surveyed said the adverts made them question their drinking habits, while 96 per cent welcomed responsible drinking initiatives by beverage companies. Jean Collingwood, chief executive officer for the industry-based responsible drinking imitative Drinkaware said the findings were an encouraging sign that alcohol manufactures were succeeding in promoting responsible drinking. "The results of this evaluation lead the way in demonstrating how companies can use consumer intelligence, insight and marketing skills to positively challenge and impact upon consumer behaviour,"​ she stated. "Many companies in the industry are committed to CSR programmes on a number of platforms which are already creating an impact."​ The attempts by the industry to promote greater understanding of the need for responsible drinking come as the European Commission continues to apply pressure to reform the sale of alcohol. In June, the Commission formed the Alcohol and Health Forum, which currently consists of 40 businesses and non governmental organisations (NGOS), designed to reduce excessive alcohol consumption particularly amongst young people in the bloc. To do this, the group will offer greater education for young people on the dangers of drinking, while putting curbs on irresponsible alcohol advertising and sales practices. The forum, which will meet twice a year, will be open to any producers or groups that can detail an action plan on how they will contribute to reducing excessive consumption. These initiatives will also be made public, so that the members can be judged on how they are faring. It will also allow other producers and NGOs to adapt the more successful initiatives, to better curb excessive alcohol consumption. Along with self regulatory policies, the body will also establish a science group to advice on both scientific and policy issues. This work will also be backed by task forces, with two already established to cover marketing communication and youth-specific issues. Excessive consumption of alcohol is estimated to kill 200,000 Europeans a year, according to the bloc's figures. This pattern is attributed predominantly to men aged 15 - 29 with one in four of alcohol related deaths coming from this demographic. Though women were found to fair better in the study, estimates still claim that alcohol is responsible for the death of one in ten females belonging to the same age group.

Related topics: Markets, Diageo

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