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Successful socially responsible drinking campaign

MEDIA RELEASE - ALCOHOL ADVISORY COUNCIL

For immediate use
4 April 2008
1:15pm

Successful socially responsible drinking campaign in Manukau

A four-month Manukau City Council campaign to cut disorder, violence and drink driving has proved so successful that incidents around one hotel noted for such episodes have virtually disappeared.

The council revealed the results of the pilot programme to the Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC) conference in Rotorua today.

The campaign was the brainchild of the council’s youth road safety co-ordinator Cat Marvin, who wanted an innovative way to tackle drink driving incidents in the area involving 18-24 year old drivers.

Together with ALAC and the Police, they approached DB Breweries for funding to promote its light beer in three south Auckland hotels.

“We think it is a New Zealand first – an industry-funded campaign to encourage responsible drinking,” Ms Marvin told the conference.  “We asked DB for help because it promotes itself as a supporter of any programme which advocates sensible drinking.”

The council’s liquor licensing inspector Paul Radich said the DB Breweries brand of light beer was promoted in three premises on Friday nights – beginning last November.

“With a DB grant of $10,000, we organised bar mats, posters, branded glasses, tee shirts and balloons.

“Two of the hotels were already pretty sensible about how they sold their liquor and there was less trouble from their patrons, but they increased their sales of the light beer by 237 and 135 percent respectively, which was a great payoff.

“But the huge result came from the pub which had been associated with irresponsible drinking.  It increased its sales of the light brand by approximately 1400 percent, and incidents of drink driving and violence have dropped from a couple every Friday night to about one every four Friday nights.

“The licensees are very excited about the campaign, because apart from selling more of a slightly more expensive beer, they have increased control over what happens in and around their pub, and have less grief with drunkenness.”

The $10,000 is gone now, and Cat Marvin and Paul Radich are hoping DB will continue to underwrite the Friday night campaign.  In the meantime, they are approaching Lion Breweries and Independent Liquor to gauge their interest in doing a similar campaign.

“The licensees are so enthusiastic that even without DB’s continued support, they are maintaining the ‘light nights’,” said Paul Radich.  “We would love this to be a model for a nationwide campaign.”

ends
 

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