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Report shows alcohol industry making progress against commitments

We welcome today’s release of the latest Producers’ Commitments Report by the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD), which shows signatory companies have stepped up implementation of their Commitments to contribute to the global target of reducing alcohol-related harm by 10% by 2025.

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We are one of 12 leading producers of beer, wine, and spirits who are signatories of the Commitment to tackle alcohol-related harm. This is the third annual report following a ground-breaking agreement for the alcohol industry to collaborate in 2012, and the first since the Sustainable Development Goals were agreed by governments in 2015.

Our Chief Executive Ivan Menezes said: “I am proud of Diageo’s significant contribution towards the industry’s overall progress in reducing the harmful use of alcohol, particularly our work to prevent underage drinking and ensure the next generation has a positive relationship with alcohol. We are three years into the most ambitious initiative our industry has ever collectively undertaken to address harmful drinking and, while we have made good progress, there is still more work to be done. At Diageo, we are committed to doing more.”

2015 report highlights

Reducing underage drinking

This year’s report highlights particular progress in programmes to prevent underage drinking. Collectively, the 12 signatory companies implemented 257 underage education initiatives in 2015, a 49% increase on the previous year. These programs directly engaged nearly 30 million unique adult influencers such as parents, teachers, and community leaders on the importance of respecting legal age limits on buying alcohol. Over 192 million additional individuals were reached through education programs, mass media and social media campaigns.

Our underage initiatives, which took place in 29 markets last year, include Smashed, an award-winning theatre and education programme that informs young people about the dangers of alcohol. Launched in the UK more than a decade ago, it has reached over 300,000 young people in more than 1,400 schools across the UK. Building on this success, the Smashed Project is now being rolled out globally, with projects running in Vietnam, Taiwan, Jamaica, Peru, Thailand, China and Mozambique this year, aiming to reach over 135,000 young people around the world.

Watch an example of our work to combat underage drinking in Mexico:

Reducing drinking and driving

In 2015, IARD members and industry organizations supported 345 drinking and driving prevention programs. Diageo supported drinking and driving prevention programmes in 39 countries last year, including its flagship #JoinThePact programme.

See how this was activated in the UK in December last year:

Our strong track record in drink driving programmes also led the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) to select Diageo as a partner for a two-year partnership entitled “Road Safety Initiative for Cities” which aims to improve road safety globally earlier this year. Scheduled to start in late 2016, training will be run in 15 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin and Central America, focusing on countries with the highest death rates related to road traffic accidents, with over 60 countries invited to participate.

Providing consumer information and responsible product innovation

We are committed to providing consumers with the information they need to make informed decisions about drinking as part of a balanced lifestyle and has been providing nutritional information for its brands on its responsible drinking website, DRINKiQ.com, since 2006. Last year, 100% of Diageo products produced in countries including Brazil, Kenya, Mexico and Nigeria carried one or more responsible drinking symbols on their packaging, alongside a link to DRINKiQ.com which appears on all our products.

At the start of 2016, Diageo relaunched DRINKiQ.com, making the site available in 12 languages across 25 countries, featuring enhanced alcohol content and nutritional information for all its brands, including a breakdown of calories, carbohydrates and protein as well as, for the first time, detailing saturated fat, sugar, caffeine and sodium content.

Enlisting the support of retailers to reduce harmful drinking

The Guiding Principles on Responsible Retailing were published in November 2015 at the World Retail Congress in South Africa. Collectively, the signatories rolled out a total of 253 local responsible retailing initiatives in 75 countries where signatories are commercially active in 2015, up by nearly 20% from the previous year. Local responsible retailing initiatives are now in place in 89% of the countries in which we are commercially active.

In Italy, for example, in partnership with the Italian Ministry of Health and leading retailer Auchan, we have successfully run a programme to deliver responsible drinking hints and tips direct to consumers in-store for four years. Last year, Diageo and Auchan increased the number of hypermarket participants to 150 outlets, reaching three million consumers.

Strengthening and expanding marketing codes of practice

In 2015, an alternative method for assessing advertising placement was adopted by the signatories to address who was being reached by alcohol advertising in data-poor environments. This information is critical to ensuring that company marketing is directed to adults through channels which have a minimum of 70% adult audience, as intended. The 2015 data demonstrates that in Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria, the three countries studied, alcohol advertising by signatory companies exceeded the industry standard for reaching adult audiences.

We have a well-established and strict code for the marketing of all its products, the Diageo Marketing Code, and also enforces a Digital Code of Practice. To read about our policies, go to https://www.drinkiq.com/en-gb/what-diageo-is-doing/diageo-marketing-code/

As part of the Producers’ Commitments, we also ensure that the same rigorous standards are followed by the companies that it works with – 94% of our contracts between with commercial partners such as marketing agencies now include clauses mandating responsible marketing.