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Red Stripe among success stories of drive to reduce harmful drinking

Published:Monday | October 26, 2015 | 1:31 PM

Chief executive officers of the leading global producers of beer, wine and spirits have released a report highlighting the progress of their initiative to reduce harmful drinking.

At the two-year mark of the five-year programme, the Beer, Wine and Spirits Producers' Commitments to reduce harmful drinking has shown progress in key areas, including helping to reduce underage drinking, prevent drunk driving, and strengthen and expand marketing codes of practice to promote responsible drinking.

According to a release out of Washington, DC, notable in the international report is the producers' progress in supporting the reduction of underage drinking.

Signatory companies have undertaken 180 underage drinking prevention education programmes around the world. The beer, wine and spirits producers also helped to drive the development of a legal purchasing age policy in Vietnam in 2014.

"We believe that addressing harmful drinking must involve all sectors of society - governments, civil society and the private sector - and are therefore pleased that the CEOs of the major alcohol-producing companies have agreed to a set of five commitments to address harmful drinking in a five-year programme of work," said Ann Keeling, president/CEO, International Alliance for Responsible Drinking, which serves as the Secretariat to the Commitments.

raising awareness

Jamaica's Red Stripe, the trading name of Desnoes and Geddes Limited for which Diageo Plc is the outgoing majority shareholder, noted that results from an independent audit show that their 'Drink Right' campaign has been effective, and has a 72 per cent recall by the target consumer.

"This is a great result for an 18-month campaign which has a simple aim - raising awareness around the smart choices one can take when consuming alcohol in the context of a healthy, active lifestyle. The result also validates the soundness of the strategy we created to increase awareness and shift behaviours," said Dianne Ashton-Smith, Red Stripe's head of corporate relations.

"Grounded in the CEO Commitments to reduce underage drinking, reduce drinking and driving and enlist the support of retailers to reduce harmful drinking, the campaign uses Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and other social media, as well as television, radio and print advertisements to reach potential consumers with our message," she added.

reduce harmful drinking

Carlos Brito, Commitments CEO group chair and CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev, noted that the international grouping "... are represented in more than 100 countries, and we are committed to making a positive and lasting contribution through our joint efforts in all of the markets in which we operate.

"Our Commitments are a good starting point to help reduce the harmful consumption of alcohol globally; but to take the impact of our work to the next level, we need to expand this collective approach to also include other beer, wine and spirits companies, as well as retailers, governments, international organisations and local community groups. We are working hard to bring these partnerships together so that we can have an even greater impact in our efforts to reduce harmful drinking."

The Commitments represent the largest-ever industry-wide initiative to address harmful drinking. The 12 signatories of the Commitments are: Anheuser-Busch InBev, Asahi Group Holdings, Bacardi, Beam Suntory, Brown-Forman Corporation, Carlsberg, Diageo, Heineken, Kirin Holdings Company, Molson Coors, PernodRicard, and SABMiller.