Encouraging responsible drinking has been a mantra adopted by governments and alcoholic drinks firms in recent years, and with this in mind, industry representative group spiritsEUROPE has published a report outlining some of the most interesting projects underway across Europe.
The report, The Spirits Sector in Action – Promoting Responsible Drinking in Europe, summarises the efforts made by the spirits sector to promote responsible drinking and help reduce alcohol-related harm.
Last year, some 90 initiatives were undertaken in 23 European countries, reaching an audience of up to 194 million people, spiritsEUROPE said.
“We firmly believe in an approach rooted in responsible communications to promote responsible drinking," said Ulrich Adam, director general of spiritsEUROPE.
"Such an approach includes providing consumers with fact-based, understandable, and actionable guidance about low-risk levels and patterns of drinking, as can be seen from the different RDIs described in the report."
ESM examines ten of the most notable campaigns to promote responsible drinking that were rolled out over the past year.
1. Estonian Association of Alcohol Producers and Importers (ATML)
'If you drink, drink some water in between!'
This Estonian campaign reminded consumers to drink one glass of water for every alcoholic drink and emphasised the dehydrating effect of alcohol on the body. As part of the campaign, venues provided water free of charge, while in-store, online and social media campaigns reinforced the message.
The campaign was successful in increasing awareness of the importance of water consumption, with 33% of respondents saying they increased awareness of the campaign and 93% saying they would start drinking water when consuming alcohol.
2. Hungarian Spirits Association (HAS)
'Minimum alcohol, maximum enjoyment'
The Hungarian Spirits Association's campaign encouraged responsible drinking habits during the summer festival season by emphasising the message, 'Minimum alcohol and maximum enjoyment', supporting this with the hashtag #DoMinimumGetMaximum.
Social media platforms were used to spread the message, and users were encouraged to become ambassadors for the cause by sharing their summer memories. The campaign reached over 571,500 views and generated over 900 reactions across platforms.
3. The Sense Group (Malta)
'Make it a summer you will remember'
The Sense Group launched a social media campaign aimed at young people in Malta, as restrictions eased following COVID-19. The campaign warned them to remember the summer of 2022 for the right reasons and live to remember it by avoiding binge drinking and drink driving.
The campaign had 619,031 impressions, 1,403 post engagements, and 392,183 reach. A post-campaign survey showed that 80% of respondents understood the message, and 66% related to it.
4. Bacardi, Diageo, Pernod Ricard
The Kikid project (pictured) sought to provide dialogue for young people about themes that are important to them, such as alcohol, peer pressure, and life choices. Spirits, beer, and soft drink companies partnered with Kikid on the 'Booze' part of the campaign, who in turn ran the programme.
In 2021/2022, Kikid hosted 117 live shows and reached 5,074 pupils, while online shows reached 3,768 pupils. The social media presence had 6,635,291 impressions, 10,349 link clicks, and 11,583 interactions. Some 89% of respondents enjoyed the programme, while 89% saw it as a good way to learn more about the risks of alcohol consumption.
5. Associação Nacional de Bebidas Espirituosas (ANEBE)
'Minors not a drop'
Portugal's ANEBE launched a campaign to reduce underage drinking by mobilising society around the national goals and objectives described in the 2020 National Plan for the Reduction of Addictive Behaviours. It followed on from the rollout of a similar programme in Spain.
The initiative was composed of a school programme for 12-18-year-olds, training for adults, a website, and a social network presence. The campaign distributed 18+ wristbands to festival-goers to be easily recognised by bar staff, who in tun were trained accordingly.
6. Federazione Italiana Industriali Produttori Esportatori e importatori di Vini, Acquaviti, Liquori, Sciroppi, Aceti et Affini (Federvini)
'No Binge: Responsible Consumption'
Italy's Federvini launched the 'No Binge: Responsible Consumption' programme in 2022 in partnership with La Sapienza University. Students taking the second year of the Economics and Business Management master’s degree took part in the programme, with participation contributing to their final grade.
They worked in teams over a three-month period to create a communication campaign promoting responsible drinking, with the best campaigns recognised and awarded.
7. Espirituosos España (Spain)
'Responsibility on campus'
Initially launched in 2018, this campaign provided Spanish university students with training about responsible consumption before they worked in groups over a six-month period to design a responsible drinking campaign targeting young adults or minors.
In 2022, the winners created a campaign to change young people’s mindset by reminding them that 'The best toasts are the ones we remember'. The campaign highlights that alcohol should be consumed to accompany the best moments in life, not as a means of escape or to try to become more extroverted.
8. Diageo (Europe)
'Wrong Side of the Road'
This campaign was initially launched ahead of the UN Global Road Safety Week in May 2021, and enabled participants to have a conversation with a real drink driver to help them understand the effects of alcohol and the shame and stigma that comes with drink driving.
The interactive experience presented a series of real-life scenarios with three pre-recorded drink drivers in the format of a video call. Participants were encouraged to ask questions, and at the end of the module, they were shown a summary of learnings and directed towards other online resources that offer additional advice and support. The project was launched globally in 24 countries, reaching more than 500,000 people.
9. Polski Przemysł Spirytusowy (PPS)
'Alcohol. Always responsibly'
The 'Alcohol. Always Responsibility' campaign was launched in 2016 by Polski Przemysł Spirytusowy (PPS) to tackle misconceptions around the different types of alcohol and promote responsible alcohol consumption.
In 2022, the Polish campaign focused on drink-driving due to an increase in the number of drivers under the influence of alcohol recorded in police data. Messages against drink-driving were promoted on social media and shared at various events, such as meetings with decision-makers, the Economic Forum in Karpacz, and the meeting of the National Development Council to the President of Poland.
The campaign reached a wide audience, with the Facebook video having 132,571 impressions, and the interview on TV programme '7 Metres Below Ground' receiving 168,358 views.
10. Prévention et Modération (France)
'Zero alcohol whilst pregnant'
In France, Prévention et Modération’s 'Zero alcohol whilst pregnant' campaign was aimed at raising awareness of the risks of drinking during pregnancy and encouraging women to abstain from alcohol during pregnancy.
As part of its mission, SAF France runs the yearly SAFTHON, a collective of events aimed at raising awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and reminding women not to drink any alcohol at all when pregnant. In 2022, the campaign was launched during the international Day for Children’s Rights (20 November), and 270 local events took place throughout the country.
Read spiritsEUROPE's full report here.