UK: Drinks firms launch GBP100m responsible drinking campaign
An alliance of alcoholic drinks firms and retailers have unveiled a GBP100m (US$164m) campaign to tackle excessive drinking among young people in the UK.
Around 45 companies have joined forces to create the five-year campaign, which launches today (16 July) and has the support of the Government, police and Drinkaware, the responsible drinking charity partly funded by industry.
Young people aged 18 to 34 will be targeted by advertising using the strapline "why let good times go bad?". From September, adverts will be placed in retail stores, on beer mats in bars and pubs, on drinks packaging and on outdoor billboards.
"It is designed to maximise the potential offered by the direct relationship drinks brands have with consumers," said the alliance today.
"This campaign aims to shift the culture around alcohol by targeting those who drink to excess without punishing the majority of responsible drinkers."
Health minister Andy Burnham and home secretary Alan Johnson are both backing the campaign.
Burnham said: "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."
Commander Simon O'Brien, of the Metropolitan Police, said: "The Association of Chief Police Officers have consistently said that there needs to be a real culture change in attitudes to binge drinking."
Campaign group Alcohol Concern, which is partly funded by the Ministry of Health, said today that the industry campaign would not work.
"This new initiative appears to be yet another example of the drinks industry trying desperately to avoid mandatory legislation to pass on health information to consumers," said Alcohol Concern CEO Don Schenker.
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