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14 DEC 2017

14 DEC 2017 Press release

Press release

Diageo secures 5 million never to drink and drive, and announces 50 million pledges as new target to tackle drinking and driving

14 December 2017: Diageo has secured over 5 million pledges never to drink and drive through its global programme Johnnie Walker #JoinThePact, beating its target a year ahead of its goal. Diageo also announces a tenfold increase in its next target, aiming to secure 50 million pledges by 2025 – with 2 million pledges already secured towards this goal thanks to recent activity in India.                                                    

Over 7 million adults have now signed the declaration never to drink and drive, which is supported by Johnnie Walker’s sponsorship of Formula 1 partnerships and fronted by former and current F1 drivers including Mika Häkkinen, Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso.

Diageo started the #JoinThePact campaign in 2008 as part of its efforts to tackle drink driving around the world. The target of 5 million pledges has been reached early thanks to a global effort to secure pledges, with the #JoinThePact campaign already activated in over forty countries across five continents. From the heights of Nepal to the streets of Sao Paulo, the campaign has travelled the world raising awareness among consumers and encouraging millions to make a commitment never to drink and drive.

Mika Häkkinen, Johnnie Walker’s Global Responsible Drinking Ambassador, will visit London this week to celebrate reaching the target and kick off a festive push for pledges in the UK, including visiting the Houses of Parliament today to encourage MPs to sign up. Over the Christmas period, Diageo GB is partnering with Ei Group, a leading UK pub company, to encourage customers to make a pledge to never drink and drive and provide safe rides home over the festive period*. The activity is timed to support the Department for Transport’s annual THINK! road safety campaign.

Charles Ireland, General Manager, Diageo Great Britain, Ireland and France, said: “This is a busy time of year for our business and for the pubs that we work with across the country – however responsibility remains our number one priority. Our partnership with Ei Group will ensure the message to never drink and drive is seen by people as they are celebrating, and potentially deciding how to get home. We’re proud of our track record in tackling drink driving in the UK and around the world, but we are not complacent and are determined to do more.”

Paul Harbottle, Commercial Director, Ei Group, said: “We are dedicated to taking care of customers through responsible retailing and playing a positive role in the many communities where our publicans operate. Giving people a positive action they can take, like making a pledge never to drink and drive through #JoinThePact in return for a safe ride home, is a great way to engage people on an important issue like drink driving at this time of year. We’re delighted to be partnering with Diageo to share this important message.”

Earlier this month, #JoinThePact was launched in India, with activity taking place in Mumbai and Delhi. The Caparo T1, a two-seater supercar with Johnnie Walker responsible drinking branding, was driven by Mika Häkkinen in the streets of Delhi, to raise awareness for the campaign and promote responsible drinking – engaging the public, media and fans alike.

In Mexico, a #JoinThePact TV commercial was launched in October this year – the first time a branded responsible drinking advertisement has run on national television in the country. The Johnnie Walker film ‘Glass Car’, featuring Fernando Alonso, aired nationwide and throughout the Mexican Grand Prix.

Mika Häkkinen said: “It’s truly incredible that we have reached our target over a year early. I have been working on this campaign from the very beginning and it’s fantastic to see how we have reached people around the world, and I believe as a result made our roads safer. This is not the end, this job continues and we push forward to collect more pledges to never drink and drive and take #JoinThePact to new parts of the world.”

Carolyn Panzer, Director of Alcohol in Society at Diageo, commented: “Our ambitious new target of collecting 50 million pledges never to drink and drive through #JoinThePact shows our tireless determination to make progress on reducing drinking and driving. We believe that a single death caused by drinking and driving is one too many and each one can be prevented.”

Diageo has a long history of working to reduce alcohol-related fatalities and crashes and supports numerous drink drive prevention programmes around the world. These range from supporting high visibility enforcement through random breath tests to funding safe rides and free public transportation, and supporting laws to establish maximum blood alcohol concentration levels in countries where none exist.

In 2016, Diageo and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) signed a two-year partnership agreement to collaborate on the Sustainable Development goal of halving road traffic deaths. Together they have committed to reach approximately 6,000 government officials, young people, and other relevant stakeholders, through training workshops to improve road safety.

ENDS

Notes to editors

*terms and conditions apply

For further information and interview opportunities, please contact:

Isabella.Thomson@diageo.com

+44 7834 807 890

About Diageo

Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits, beer and wine categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Buchanan's and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO). For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.

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