Pernod Launches 'Responsibility' Campaign On Alcohol Abuse

A public service campaign that focuses on drunk driving, underage consumption and binge drinking was unveiled on Friday--not by Mothers Against Drunk Driving or that group's ilk but by the marketer of such products as Chivas Regal and Stolichnaya.

Pernod Ricard USA, a unit of Pernod Ricard SA, the world's second-largest spirits and wine company, published full-age ads in USA Today and launched the complementary

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 220 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."

Similar executions in the initial series expose typical excuses used to justify underage drinking and binge drinking. An animated, online version of the binge drinking ad shows shot glasses filling up with typical excuses. The full ad buy will include national newspapers and magazines, as well as Web site banners.



"Although the vast majority of adult Americans who drink do so in moderation, and the incidence of underage drinking is declining, we have an obligation to fight against irresponsible consumption," says Alain Barbet, President and CEO of Pernod Ricard USA, in a press release. "Our new responsibility campaign focuses on recognizing and overcoming enabling excuses so we can act responsibly." features original content on self-deception written by the author of Self-Deception Unmasked. Friends and family members 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 and may have used excuses to justify that behavior, along with a customizable message.

The site lists numerous links for authoritative information on drunk driving, underage drinking and binge drinking provided by governmental agencies and third-party organizations.

Other elements of the campaign include a media outreach effort, financial contributions by Pernod Ricard USA 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. "We intend to continue funding efforts to promote responsibility in coming fiscal years," Barbet said. "All of us--marketers, consumers and parents--must accept responsibility for tackling these issues."

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