We want to lead our industry in promoting responsible drinking and combating alcohol misuse. Our approach to this is based on three key principles:
- Work to world-class standards for responsible marketing and product innovation
- Combat alcohol misuse, working with others on initiatives to reduce alcohol-related harm
- Seek a shared understanding of responsible drinking.
Our actions in promoting responsible drinking are occasionally greeted with skepticism: why would a brewing company wish to encourage people to consume less of its products? The answer is simple. First, we want to do what we can to ensure that our brands are not a cause of harm in society. Second, if misuse persists, campaigns against the promotion and sale of alcohol beverages may follow, potentially affecting our business. For these compelling reasons, we work to find a responsible, sustainable place for the moderate enjoyment of our brands in Nigeria.
Our consumer understanding and marketing skills, developed and proven in promoting our brands, are also employed to champion responsible drinking.
You can find out more at DRINKiQ.com, our online portal that provides people with information about the ingredients and nutritional and alcohol content of their favourite Guinness Nigeria and Diageo drinks.
During the Christmas holiday period we ran a radio campaign to tackle drink driving. With versions in English and Pidgin English, the campaign was aired on five stations in Lagos, Abuja, Umuahia and Benin for a three-week period. The campaign message was reinforced by a full-page advertisement in major newspaper, pushing the budget for the campaign to N2 million.
We recently worked with the Federal Road Safety Commission to organise a rally for road users to celebrate the United Nations Road Safety Week. We will measure the impact of such campaigns in future and ensure that our efforts make a practical contribution to changing attitudes to irresponsible drinking.
It is clear that alcohol is not the only factor contributing to Nigeria’s road safety record. Poor road surfaces and signs, inadequate vehicle maintenance and driver error also play a role. By working with experts in these areas, our aim is to encourage improvements in all contributing factors in order to bring about real improvements in road safety.
Bartenders can often influence the way in which alcohol is consumed and we have developed a bartender training programme that helps to put this influence to good use. Our programme, which began in 2003, consists of a one-day coaching course for bartenders and bar managers and is delivered in 12 cities.
During the programme participants learn how to store, serve and merchandise our brands. A segment of the day is devoted to responsible serving techniques – how to assess someone’s age and refuse alcohol to underage customers, how to do the same with customers who have had too much, encouraging customers to drink water or eat between drinks and arranging transport home or suggesting that groups of friends designate a non-drinking driver. To date, 1,585 bartenders have completed the programme.
Employee alcohol policy
As our ambassadors, our employees must demonstrate a responsible attitude to drinking both in and out of the workplace. Our employee alcohol policy sets out the standards of behaviour we expect. At Christmas, employees received an email reminder of the importance of observing the policy and this was backed up with posters, coasters and leaflets in our offices that reinforced the theme of enjoying the holiday season responsibly.