A minority of drinkers misuse alcohol, causing harm to themselves, to others and their communities. We want to help tackle alcohol misuse because it is bad for our consumers, their families and society. It also damages our licence to operate and the reputation of our brands.
Alcohol misuse covers a range of complex problems including excessive consumption, drink driving, underage drinking, and drinking by pregnant women. Tackling these challenges requires everyone to work together - government, companies, non-governmental organisations and individuals. We take our role in this very seriously.
We support effective programmes that aim to prevent, target and address alcohol misuse - whether by raising awareness, or by working with others to seek to change consumer attitudes, or ultimately to influence behaviour.
However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to tackling alcohol misuse. Diverse cultures and societies require different interventions, and there are many effective strategies, whether educating the public, training retailers, helping pass and enforce laws, or supporting employees.
We try to maximise our impact by working with partners, or piloting innovative approaches. For example, we are particularly excited about the new opportunities created by social media channels to influence consumer attitudes. This year we launched a competition to challenge our marketing teams to come up with innovative ideas to harness peer-to-peer influence on Facebook to address excessive drinking.
Below are highlights of some approaches we have taken to help ensure our consumers are able to enjoy alcohol responsibly and to 'celebrate life, today and tomorrow'.
- Preventing excessive drinking - this work ranges from support for advertising campaigns that raise awareness of the risks of binge drinking through to harnessing peer influence by encouraging individuals in at-risk groups to understand what can go wrong and communicate it to their friends.
- Tackling drink driving - this activity includes backing public information campaigns, encouraging designated drivers or providing safe rides home and targeting commercial drivers where they are especially prone to breaking the law.
- Addressing underage drinking - this work includes liaising closely with others to enforce minimum purchase ages, and funding programmes to help adolescents resist unwelcome social pressure to drink.
- Working with retailers to ensure responsible sales - this includes training retailers and working in partnership with them to develop their own training programmes to ensure that - whether its bar staff serving drinks, or shopkeepers selling alcohol over the counter - staff on the front line have the skills they need to promote responsible drinking.
Last year we backed more than 300 responsible drinking programmes in 49 countries, including 37 of our top 40 countries by value. In line with Diageo's general decentralised approach, countries select programmes for themselves so that what gets funded is relevant to local needs.