Diageo has announced it has secured over five million pledges never to drink and drive in a global programme that includes activity in the UK with bar and pub company Ei Group.
After launching the #JoinThePact campaign in 2008, it has reached this landmark figure a year ahead of target, with another two million pledges already secured in India towards its next goal of 50 million by 2025.
Over the Christmas period, Diageo GB is partnering with Ei Group and its lessees and tenants to encourage customers in their bars and pubs to make a pledge to never drink and drive and to provide safe rides home over the festive period. The activity is timed to support the Department for Transport’s annual THINK! road safety campaign.
The global programme is backed by Johnnie Walker’s sponsorship of Formula 1 partnerships and fronted by former and current F1 drivers including Mika Häkkinen, Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso.
Mika Häkkinen, Johnnie Walker’s global responsible drinking ambassador, is visiting London this week to celebrate reaching the target and to kick off a festive push for pledges in the UK, including visiting the Houses of Parliament yesterday to encourage MPs to sign up.
Pictured, left to right, at Westminster are Aileen Keyes, head of alcohol in society for Europe at Diageo, Jon Dale, head of corporate communication at Ei Group, Mika Hakkinen, Gavin Shuker MP, vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Formula 1, and Laurence Meehan, head of public affairs at Diageo GB.
Charles Ireland, general manager for Diageo Great Britain, Ireland and France, said: “This is a busy time of year for our business and for the pubs that we work with across the country – however responsibility remains our number one priority.
“Our partnership with Ei Group will ensure the message to never drink and drive is seen by people as they are celebrating, and potentially deciding how to get home. We’re proud of our track record in tackling drink-driving in the UK and around the world, but we are not complacent and are determined to do more.”
Paul Harbottle, commercial director at Ei Group, added: “We are dedicated to taking care of customers through responsible retailing and playing a positive role in the many communities where our publicans operate.
“Giving people a positive action they can take, like making a pledge never to drink and drive through #JoinThePact in return for a safe ride home, is a great way to engage people on an important issue like drink-driving at this time of year. We’re delighted to be partnering with Diageo to share this important message.”
Mika Häkkinen said: “It’s truly incredible that we have reached our target over a year early. I have been working on this campaign from the very beginning and it’s fantastic to see how we have reached people around the world, and I believe as a result made our roads safer.
“This is not the end: this job continues and we push forward to collect more pledges to never drink and drive and take #JoinThePact to new parts of the world.”
Carolyn Panzer, director of alcohol in society at Diageo, commented: “Our ambitious new target of collecting 50 million pledges never to drink and drive through #JoinThePact shows our tireless determination to make progress on reducing drinking and driving. We believe that a single death caused by drinking and driving is one too many and each one can be prevented.”