Massachusetts Beverage Business



Article By: MBB

PERNOD RICARD USA has a new public service campaign, Accept Responsibility, that focuses attention on three critical alcohol issues: drunk driving, underage consumption and binge drinking. The communications program identifies excuses used to justify irresponsible alcohol consumption, and urges individuals to "accept responsibility".  The campaign theme complements the company's own acceptance of responsibility embodied in its internal code of conduct for employees and standards for its marketing practices. The integrated campaign kicked off with a full-page ad in usa today and the launch of a website:  Headlined: "Drunk driving doesn't start with a drink.  It starts with an excuse", the ad features a martini glass illustrated with the text of typical excuses people make when they drive after drinking too much, such as "I'm 22O lbs. - it takes a lot more than three drinks to slow this guy down" and "I've driven home from here so many times I could do it blindfolded". An animated, online version of the ad shows shot glasses filling up with typical excuses. The full ad buy will include national newspapers and magazines, as well as website banners. The Accept Responsibility site features original content on self-deception written by Dr. Alfred R. Mele, author of self-deception unmasked and a professor at Florida State University. He also has written a quiz to help site visitors start thinking about self-deception in their own lives. Apart from the quiz, the site offers additional interactive features. People can send e-card versions of the "Excuses" ads to loved ones who may be engaging in some of the negative behaviors addressed by this campaign, along with a customizable message. The site lists numerous links for information on drunk driving, underage drinking and binge drinking provided by governmental agencies and third-party organizations, including the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information, State University of New York/Potsdam, Disilled Spirits Industry Council (DISCUS), and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  Other elements of the effort include a media outreach with Dr. Mele as the spokesperson, financial contributions by Pernod Ricard to a selected group of organizations and initiatives to address alcohol-related issues, and ongoing development of innovative, educational tools to reach parents and their teenagers.

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