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Bacardi - road toll action tokenistic posing

Bacardi - road toll action tokenistic posing

Media Release - Candor Trust

Bacardi Limited's just launched "Champions Drink Responsibly" sole drink drive awareness campaign, as fronted by repeat World Formula 1 winner Michael Schumacher is socially irresponsible. It will backfire to seriously underrmine current road safety messages, in the 40 countries targeted.

Bacardi claims Schumaker is heavily active in road safety, but if that is so how can he promote such an out of touch defunct message as "don't drink drive"? In Europe, the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, Malaysia and switched on Countries the message for several years now has been to avoid drink and /or drugged driving.

Prominent elements of Bacardis half cocked campaign, scheduled to roll out over the next 2 years, will both compete with and seriously undermine sane useful anti impaired driving campaigns. So Bacardi can count on concerned road safety groups to vigorously oppose their big budget mistake, unless they go back to the drawing board.

"I am eager to spread the message that drinking and driving don't mix. It is a topic that I feel strongly about and it builds upon my work in the area of road safety," said a monumentally misinformed Schumacher on the eve of his profile being used to no good purpose - except making Bacardi a buck.

He is apparently unaware of the damage he will do in pushing a dated incomplete message that is manifestly "unfit for the purpose of saving maximal lives". Statistics in most Countries, which have analysed the problem, show fatalities attributable to drug driving now match or exceed drink driving fatalities in the young population up to 40.

Drink driving per se is almost extinct as a discreet activity. Most problem drink drivers cocktail with drugs. Evidence from the D.E.A., New Zealands "control of drink and drugged drivers" study and from Monash Universities recent analyses of deceased drivers in Victoria over the last 3 years shows that sole and combined drug driving damage picks up the Grim Reapers slack wherever drink driving is hammered.

Standalone drink driving education and enforcement do not reduce carnage due to a phenomenon traffic scientists term "risk homeostasis". Risk homeostasis (Gerald Wilde) refers to drivers tendencies to rebalance risk when one risk factor is reduced by upping another. For example the addition of legal requirements to wear seatbelts could result in higher speeds being normalised - and raised death rates.

In the impaired driving field the result of reducing drink driving and associated harm in developed Countries the last decade has generally been fully off set by increases in drugged driving. Less developed Countries with high tolls typically have equivalent or higher consumption of illicit drugs than alcohol.

These compelling considerations, & more, are why the best practise policy writers are giving equal emphasis to drugged driving - normally by combining the drink and drug messages. Yet the message a doomed to be ineffective Bacardi is having Schumaker broadcast is a dumbed down, "When I go for a drink, my car stays at home."

When Schumaker and Bacardi say "if you plan on drinking then leave the car home", bulk evidence says this will powerfully communicate to most high risk drivers that drug driving must be comparatively safe then, as it did not warrant a mention. They'll just chose to take the car and use drugs recreationally, or a designated drug driver instead.

The dangerously negligent advertising campaign featuring Michael Schumacher "lying about risks - by omission" will be available in 15 and 20 second lengths for television, cinema and online media.But it might take him considerably longer than that to console the parents of the army of parents of dead drug taking kids or passengers of designated drug drivers turn up on his doorstep asking - why?

Why did you transmit messages more apt for global road traffic conditions last seen in the drug naive 1950's and 1960's. Why, when the known scientific facts are that recent pot use (more common in young drivers than drinking) gives a crash risk equal to that risk obtained at twice the internationally typical legal blood alcohol limit of 0.08.

Combining Bacardi (even a sublimit drop) with illicit drug use of pot, benzodiazepines or meth gives an even higher risk than being at double the alcohol limit. Why is this a top secret matter per the Champ or rather Chumps campaign?

As a Formula One World Champion, Schumacher is said to "know his limits" on and off the track; but he hasn't done his homework on this issue, and Candor would further question the use of a glamour guy engaged in a rich mans sport to (albeit inadequately) promote an impaired driving road safety message. One that today most desperately needed in underprivileged countries - as a fully comprehensive deal.


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