Drinking alcohol has been part of the social and cultural life of many communities throughout the world for centuries. It plays a predominantly positive role in society, bringing benefits to our societies and economies, and is enjoyed as part of a balanced, healthy lifestyle by millions of people. We are proud of our brands and all that we have done to become the world’s leading premium drinks business.
Nevertheless, alcohol misuse by a minority of consumers is a serious and significant issue. Its consequences are bad for individuals, families and society, and damaging to our reputation and that of our brands. It is therefore in our interest to help tackle it.
Performance against targets
Last year we developed our first set of public targets in the area of alcohol in society. We are proud to say that we have accomplished both our 2011 targets and are either on track or ahead on the others. Our results are summarised in the tables below. Please see the relevant sections for the commentary on each result.
Alcohol in society
|This year’s performance |
2010 - 2011
|SmartApprove is fully embedded throughout the business where technically feasible. For more information click here.
|Online training tool developed and distributed to marketing staff and agency partners. For more information click here.
|by 2013 ||2010 - 2011 ||
|Approximately 0.1% of marketing activity globally breached the DMC. For more information click here.
|Included in approximately 99.9% of our globally approved above-the-line advertising. For more information click here.
|In process of developing a comprehensive compliance report. For more information click here.
|In place in 39 out of top 40. For more information click here.
|In place in 34 out of top 40. For more information click here.
Changing attitudes and behaviour cannot be achieved by one organisation, or even the drinks industry, acting alone. It will take time, and the commitment of multiple stakeholders:
- Individual drinkers and their families and friends.
- Teachers, doctors, employers and colleagues.
- Governments and law enforcers.
- Everyone involved in making, marketing and selling alcohol.
We work in partnership with organisations that can offer the resources and capability to help us achieve our goals – which are to:
- Promote effective industry-wide standards in responsible marketing and selling.
- Provide a wide range of information to help our consumers make well-informed and responsible choices about when, whether, and how they drink.
- Support and promote effective, evidence-based programmes that aim to prevent, target and tackle alcohol misuse by raising awareness and changing consumer attitudes and behaviour.
- Argue for fair and effective alcohol policies around the world based on evidence, properly enforced, without unintended consequences.
- Promote a balanced, honest and well-informed discussion about the role of alcohol in society.
Highlights of the year
- We advanced our industry-leading global Digital Code of Practice for online marketing.
- We continued to develop and implement new programmes and partnerships to address the misuse of alcohol in our top markets
- We supported regional industry conferences in association with the International Center for Alcohol Policies to promote greater awareness and support for the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol.
As national governments determine how to best apply the WHO Global Alcohol Strategy, we will continue to support them in finding effective and fair approaches. We will also continue to work in partnership with others to implement impactful programmes to address misuse.
In September 2011 the UN will host a high-level meeting on the prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, cancer, obesity and respiratory disease. The UN has identified four leading contributory factors of which alcohol misuse is one alongside diet, physical activity and tobacco use. International attention on NCDs may provide Diageo and the rest of our industry with further opportunities to support effective approaches to preventing alcohol misuse. The challenge for the industry is to define its role more clearly and to demonstrate better the impact of its approach and programmes. There are also more opportunities for working with retailers to increase the scale of Diageo and industry initiatives. The Responsibility Deal in the UK, which establishes ways in which the Government and business can work together to achieve positive change that cannot be addressed by legislation alone, may offer a template for other countries.