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Drinkaware host industry seminar with 50 drinks industry companies


On Wednesday 24th February 2010 more than 70 representatives from over 50 drinks industry companies and trade associations gathered in Westminster for a seminar hosted by alcohol awareness charity Drinkaware.  The seminar gave the charity an opportunity to highlight the achievements of the last year and to showcase Drinkaware’s ambitious plans for 2010.


In the first of four seminars taking place throughout 2010, Drinkaware assembled stakeholders to say a formal thank you to the funding companies that have together committed more than £5 million per year for the next three years to the charity.  The event was also a chance to reflect on the successes of 2009 which made it Drinkaware’s most successful year to date, and to encourage drinks industry partners to back the charity’s campaigns to tackle alcohol misuse by spreading the responsible drinking message. 

Chris Sorek, Chief Executive of Drinkaware opened the event with a warm welcome to all attendees, then handed over to Chris Heffer, Head of Drugs and Alcohol at the Department of Health, who spoke about opportunities and challenges in changing Britain’s drinking culture.  The evaluation of the 2009 ‘Why Let Good Times Go Bad?’ campaign, where the drinks industry and Drinkaware worked together, was presented before plans to build on this success in 2010 were outlined.

Chris Sorek, Chief Executive of Drinkaware, says:  “It was fantastic to see so many industry members from across the sector, including producers, supermarkets, off licences, pub companies, trade associations and convenience store owners, in attendance at the industry seminar, pledging their support to the organisation’s future work.  Drinkaware has proven itself to be a trusted source for consumers and plays a crucial role in tackling alcohol misuse. 

“Our plans for 2010 are exciting and far-reaching, and by using the financial and in-kind resources offered by industry partners, Drinkaware can build on the firm foundations laid last year, amplifying campaign plans targeted at adults, young adults and under-18s and stimulating even more significant cultural change among consumers.”

Some of Drinkaware’s 2009 accomplishments shared at the seminar include:

-          50% of adults have heard of Drinkaware and the Drinkaware logo appears on more than 3 billion products in the UK;
-          1.5 million unique visitors to Drinkaware.co.uk viewing 5 million pages in 2009;
-          Youth campaigns: The Ultimate Day competition and ‘Have Fun, Be Careful’ campaign run in partnership with sexual heath charity Brook distributed 15,000 packs to 16 and 17 year olds;
-          Adult campaigns: Drink Less, Miss Less and 'What's Britain drinking this Christmas?'. The Christmas campaign achieved over 30,000 entries into the database and drove the highest ever number of visits to the Drinkaware website;
-          1676 media hits in 2009.

Paul Hegarty, Industry Relationship Manager of Drinkaware, says: “The launch of ’Why Let Good Times Go Bad?’ in 2009 marked a new phase in Drinkaware’s history, allowing Drinkaware to forge new links with industry and broadening the reach of the charity’s work.  Tackling the UK’s drinking culture is undoubtedly a challenging task but both Drinkaware and the drinks industry are in agreement that addressing alcohol-related harms is in everyone’s interest.  Collaborative work is the most effective way to spread the message of responsible drinking.” 

Jeremy Beadles, Chief Executive of The Wine and Spirit Trade Association says: “’Why Let Good Times Go Bad?’ got off to a great start in 2009 and it is very exciting to hear how Drinkaware plans to work in partnership with funding companies to make an even bigger impact in 2010.  Drinkaware is a great example of how the alcohol sector is working in partnership with other stakeholders to change Britain’s drinking culture.  Our objective is to allow the silent majority the continued freedom to enjoy alcohol without being penalised because a mindless minority does not understand how to drink sensibly”.

Three other seminars hosted by Drinkaware are planned for 2010 and are due to be held in May, September and December. 

[Ends]

For further information please contact:

Laura Ellis, Communications Assistant
DD:                  020 7307 7459
Mobile:             07917 135 436
Email:               [email protected]

Notes to Editors

· Drinkaware advises men to stay within the recommended guidelines of no more than 3-4 units of alcohol per day (equivalent of a pint and a half of lager) and women to stay within 2-3 units per day (equivalent of a 175ml glass of wine).

· Drinkaware (www.drinkaware.co.uk) provides consumers with information to make informed decisions about the effects of alcohol on their lives and lifestyles. Our public education programmes, grants, expert information, and resources help create awareness and affect positive change. An independent charity established in 2007, Drinkaware works with the medical profession, the alcohol industry, government and independent members to achieve its goals.

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