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Industry to deliver £100m responsible drinking campaign

Published:  16 July, 2009

The first stage of the much touted Project 10 joint government/drinks industry initiative goes live in September with a high profile responsible drinking advertising campaign.

The first stage of the much touted Project 10 joint government/drinks industry initiative goes live in September with a high profile responsible drinking advertising campaig.

It is thought the overall social marketing campaign could amount to £100 million in what is set to be a sustained, co-ordinated initiative to encourage more responsible drinking among young adults.

It will be the highest ever media spend around responsible drinking and has been developed by over 45 drinks companies, including retailes, producers and distributors.

Project 10 has now been renamed as the "Campaign for Smarter Drinking" and is being launched in partnership with independent charity Drinkaware and the government. The investment will run for five years.

The campaign will use outdoor advertising, signs, drink mats in pubs and bars, on-pack and point of sale displays in retailers to deliver its message under the strapline "Why let good times go bad?"

The initiative is designed to maximise the on the ground expertise of the drinks industry in reaching consumers in bars and in-store. It hopes not talk down to young adults or tell them what to do, which has been shown not to work.

Instead it will emphasise the benefits of responsible enjoyment and offer practical tips such as reminders to drink water or soft drinks, eat food and plan to get home safely.

Pernod Ricard UK's current responsible drinking initiative using social networking sites to target the youth audience has been designed in the same way.

Jonathan Neame, chief executive, Shepherd-Neame and signatory of Campaign for Smarter Drinking, said:

"For years people have asked what needs to be done to encourage a responsible drinking culture in Britain and reduce alcohol misuse among young adults. This initiative is part of the answer and the drinks industry is in a unique position to help deliver such a shift in our culture. In the end, we can only achieve change if people take responsibility for their own behaviour and this campaign will help them make informed choices."

The Government, through Andy Burnham, the Health Secretary and Alan Johnson at the Home Office have confirmed they will support the Campaign for Smarter Drinking in its launch year, with further support conditional on the results of an independent audit of the campaign's funding and effectiveness, as well as a review of future funding commitments from the industry for Drinkaware.

Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham said:
"While the vast majority of people who drink enjoy alcohol in moderation, we're facing a growing public health problem where people are regularly drinking too much or are dependent on alcohol.

"Clearly the industry has a responsibility to play their part in tackling this problem and I hope this campaign will make a real difference to people's attitudes to drunkenness and their drinking behaviour."

Home Secretary Alan Johnson said:
"We are determined to tackle alcohol related crime and disorder which costs the UK billions every year in police and hospital resources not to mention the effect it has on the lives of millions of decent people.

"Alcohol-related violent crime has fallen by a third since 1997, but no-one is suggesting the job is done and educating people about the dangers of binge drinking is a responsibility not just for the Government, but for us all. That is why I am pleased that the industry is making a commitment to do exactly that.

"This campaign will complement the wide range of actions we are already undertaking to address binge drinking, including giving police more tools and powers to tackle disruptive drinkers and consulting on new rules to ensure that businesses that sell alcohol are doing it responsibly."

Drinkaware Chairman Derek Lewis says:
"We welcome industry's increased participation in tackling irresponsible drinking. The impact of alcohol misuse is a blight on individuals, communities and society with the financial, social and health impacts affecting us all. Making sure young adults have the right information about the effect of alcohol misuse on their health and wellbeing is an essential part of tackling the problem. From September, Drinkaware will deliver the campaign to consumers, ensuring they have the facts they need to make informed choices about drinking. Changing behaviour starts with education - and society as a whole stands to gain."

Commander Simon O'Brien Metropolitan Police and ACPO lead on Alcohol Licensing said:
"The Association of Chief Police Officers have consistently said that there needs to be a real culture change in attitudes to binge drinking. The police are there to enforce the law when, a few people step well over the line, often because they are well over the limit. This campaign has our support as it asks people to think about their own behaviour, to drink sensibly, and to enjoy their time socialising."

The campaign will launch the first set of advertisements nationwide later this year in bars, pubs, supermarkets and high street retailers.

The campaign is the first to enjoy cross industry support from retailers, producers, distributors and trade associations.