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Diageo pledges to reach 5 million pupils, parents and teachers on the dangers of underage drinking


  • Diageo’s underage drinking programmes have reached more than 632,000 people in the last two years across 20 countries.1
  • Diageo’s educational theatre programme Smashed has now reached 700,000 young people on six continents over the last ten years.
  • 95% of students knew more about the dangers of underage drinking after experiencing

Diageo has committed to reaching five million young people, parents and teachers globally on the dangers of underage drinking by 2025. Diageo’s 2025 Positive Drinking strategy to encourage moderation and reduce alcohol related harm includes ambitious targets for underage drinking, drink driving and excessive drinking.

Diageo supports the World Health Organization’s (WHO) goal of reducing harmful drinking by 10% and Diageo’s underage drinking programmes have reached more than 632,000 people in the last two years across 20 countries2.

Since launching in the UK over ten years ago, Smashed, Diageo’s award-winning international theatre-in- education programme, has now been shown to over seven hundred thousand young people worldwide and runs in schools in 23 countries across six continents. The hard-hitting programme aims to equip young people with the knowledge and confidence they need to resist peer pressure and prevent underage drinking.  Smashed recently expanded into the US, Colombia, Brazil, Italy and New Zealand, and plans to launch in Mexico, Venezuela, Hungary and the Philippines.

The programme, developed in collaboration with young people, has a real impact:

  • 95% of students knew more about the dangers of underage drinking after experiencing Smashed
  • 86% of pupils knew where to get help with alcohol related issues after the programme (an increase of 33%)
  • Students who knew the legal age for buying alcohol in their country increased from 78% to 94%.3

“We welcome the fact that fewer young people are drinking underage and are committed to playing our part in ensuring this downward trend continues. We know that knowledge is power, and that’s why we fund programmes such as Smashed, in order to find the most memorable ways of equipping young people with the tools they need as they approach adulthood. With our additional pledge to reach 5 million people by 2025 we are now set to help make more young people aware of the dangers of alcohol misuse than ever before.”

Kate Gibson

Global Director of Society, Diageo

Collingwood Learning tailors the Smashed storyline for each country to deliver the best results among young people. A digital version of the programme, Smashed Online will be introduced in the UK this year, bringing theatre-based learning into classrooms that Smashed Live cannot reach and tapping into an appetite for digital-learning methods. This latest e-learning brings together filmed episodes of Smashed with interactive activities where students can test out new behaviours around alcohol that will keep them safe from harm.

In Australia and the UK the programme distributes learning resources to parents as part of a holistic approach. These advise on legal purchase age laws, how to respond to teenagers’ tricky questions and offer tips for talking to their children, including explaining how to resist peer pressure, the risk of negative social media images and videos and penalties for those caught drinking underage.

1 Diageo’s Annual Report 2019

2 Diageo’s Annual Report 2019

3 Smashed Project, Annual Report 2017-2018. Data based on a sample of 6,486 completed PRE-programme questionnaires and 8,431 completed POST-programme questionnaires from England, Indonesia, Nigeria, Northern Ireland and Scotland.