The next message for consumers from the drinks industry is that its not cool to be drunk, according to Heinekens CEO

The next message for consumers from the drinks industry is that it's not cool to be drunk, according to Heineken's CEO

The head of Heineken has called for a fresh direction for the drinks industry's engagement with consumers over responsible drinking.

Speaking at trade association the Brewers of Europe's seminar in Milan last week, Jean-François van Boxmeer congratulated the region's brewers for their work in the past on discouraging consumers from drink-driving. Van Boxmeer predicted that the next step wil be to show consumers that getting intoxicated is not socially acceptable either.

"The involvement of the brewing industry (in responsible drinking messages) started with the anti drink-driving campaigns around 30 years ago," van Boxmeer told attendees. "It's been a long journey, but we are there. We are there on a European level, and we are there on a world level.

"The next evolution," he continued, "will be for brewers to give information not only about what constitutes alcohol abuse, but also what does not constitute alcohol abuse. We talk about lifestyle, well actually it's not cool to be drunk. If we can bring that message to consumers' attentions, especially among the younger drinkers, then that will be us taking a big step."

Van Boxmeer also highlighted the role of parents and teachers to contribute to the dissemination of this message. "If parents and teachers aren't doing their jobs, then this message won't go far," he said. "I believe that education and awareness is much more important than population-based measures or purely restrictive methods."