September 7, 2010 3:14 am

Business puts weight behind fight against binge drinking

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Letter from Sir Terry Leahy and more than 40 other UK company heads

From Sir Terry Leahy and others.

Sir, The profound impact of irresponsible drinking on society and the nation’s finances is well documented, but the challenge of addressing this issue is no less urgent for its longevity.

As the new government has rightly recognised, the solution lies not in heavy-handed state action, but in a more nimble approach that seeks to utilise the powerful influences that drive behaviour change.

Everyone needs to work together to ensure this approach delivers. This is why, for the second year, alcohol producers and retailers and Coca-Cola Great Britain are coming together to support Drinkaware’s Why Let Good Times Go Bad? five-year campaign based on nudging, not nannying, young adults to drink responsibly. At its heart is no grand top-down policy solution, but a series of practical tips that can prevent a good night going bad – from drinking water and eating before you go out to simply watching out for your mates.

The campaign is already bearing fruit – and has already delivered media value of more than £23m, and 70 per cent of young adults and 61 per cent of the target audience have engaged with the campaign and – crucially – adopted some of the tips.

This is a long-term commitment, where the industry will use its knowledge of consumer behaviour to achieve social change – at no cost to the taxpayer.

Industry recognises its responsibilities to help solve the problems we all face. Our ambition is that this campaign will herald a new way forward, where industry and government form productive partnerships to tackle social problems together.

Our campaign is by no means the only answer, but it is an important step in the right direction that we believe has the potential to be an effective model to deliver behaviour change campaigns in the future.

Sir Terry Leahy, Chief Executive, Tesco

Justin King, Chief Executive, Sainsbury’s

Simon Litherland, Managing Director, Diageo Great Britain

Stuart MacFarlane, President, AB InBev UK

Graham Mackay, Chief Executive, SABMiller

Isaac Sheps, Chief Executive, Carlsberg UK

John Beard, Chief Executive, Whyte and Mackay

Chris W. Mason, Managing Director, First Drinks Brands

Jerry Marwood, Managing Director, SPAR (UK)

Stephen Goodyear, Chief Executive, Young & Co’s Brewery

Steve Lewis, Chief Executive, Majestic Wine

Jonathan Paveley, Executive Chairman, Admiral Taverns

Michael Saunders, Managing Director, Bibendum Wine

Ann Yerburgh, Chairman, Daniel Thwaites

Tim Stanley and Matthew Hughes, Joint Managing Directors of Bargain Booze

John Dunsmore, Chief Executive, C&C Group International

Stephen Gould, Managing Director, Everards Brewery

Ralph Findlay, Chief Executive, Marston’s

Scott Waddington, Chief Executive, S.A. Brain and Co

Nick Miller, Managing Director, Miller Brands (UK)

William Lees-Jones, Managing Director, JW Lees

Ted Tuppen, Chief Executive, Enterprise Inns

Jon Woods, Country Manager, Coca-Cola UK and Ireland

Dalton Philips, Chief Executive, Wm Morrison Supermarkets

James Lousada, Commercial General Manager, Constellation Europe

John Hutson, Chief Executive, JD Wetherspoon

Fraser Thornton, Managing Director, Burn Stewart Distillers

Mark Hunter, Chief Executive, Molson Coors (UK)

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive, British Beer & Pub Association

Peter Jackson, Managing Director of Treasury Wine Estates EMEA

David Poley, Chief Executive, The Portman Group

Charles Bartholomew, Chairman, Wadworth Co

Graham Stevenson, Managing Director, Inver House Distillers

Mark De Witte, Chief Executive, Bacardi UK and Ireland

Stefan Orlowski, Managing Director, Heineken UK

Peter Marks, Chief Executive, Co-operative Group

Anthony Wallis, Chief Executive, Charles Wells Pub Company

Andy Clarke, Chief Executive and President, Asda Stores

Adam Fowle, Chief Executive, Mitchells and Butlers

James Staughton, Managing Director, St Austell Brewery Co

Michael Turner, Chairman of Fuller Smith & Turner

Jeremy Beadles, Chief Executive, The Wine & Spirit Trade Association

Nick Bish, Chief Executive, Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR)

Gavin Hewitt, Chief Executive, The Scotch Whisky Association

Jean Manuel Spriet, Chief Executive, Pernod Ricard

Joe Woods, Chairman, Beverage Brands

Paul Smith, Chief Executive, Noctis

Jonathan Neame, Chief Executive, Shepherd Neame

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