Booze brand back responsible driving campaign

Oh what to say and where to begin on this one …….

Johnnie Walker, the world’s leading Scotch Whisky*, today announced a new partnership with the Formula One group that will enhance the brand’s global positioning and significantly expand the platform for its highly successful responsible drinking initiative, Join the Pact.

The announcement of the new multi-year arrangement, which also sees Johnnie Walker become the Official Whisky of Formula 1, was made today at an event at the Conrad Centennial Hotel in Singapore by Nick Blazquez, President of Diageo in Africa and Asia, ahead of this weekend’s 2014 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay street circuit.

Mr Blazquez said Johnnie Walker, as a pioneering whisky brand with a progressive spirit, was the perfect whisky to partner with the world’s most progressive and technologically-advanced sport.

The new partnership greatly strengthens the historical connections that the Walker family has with the world of motorsport and Grand Prix racing which go back to the 1950s. Building on those historic links, in 2005 Johnnie Walker established a partnership with McLaren Mercedes which, over the past nine years, has enabled the brand to deliver successful marketing and responsible drinking programmes around the world.

Speaking at the announcement today, Nick Blazquez said: “Becoming the Official Whisky of Formula 1 will enable Johnnie Walker to greatly extend its reach to race fans. As a result of our new arrangement, we will have access to a global television audience of more than 450 million people and a track attendance audience of around 1.5 million every year.

“Equally important, and a key reason for Johnnie Walker to become the Official Whisky of Formula 1, is the huge opportunity we have through this expanded global platform to reach even more F1 fans around the world with responsible drinking messages.

“We believe there is great potential in what we can achieve together. The Johnnie Walker Join the Pact campaign is a proven, powerful programme that is already driving positive change. More than 1 million people around the world have signed the Join the Pact pledge to ‘Never Drink and Drive’. We are therefore announcing today our intention to increase our investment behind this programme, activating it in new territories with an ambition of gaining a further five million personal commitments over the next four years.”

Mr Blazquez was accompanied at the announcement by Mika Hakkinen, Johnnie Walker Global Responsible Drinking Ambassador, who said: “Since 2006 I’ve travelled to some 40 countries talking to media, consumers, governments and other stakeholders about the importance of our call to action. Through Join the Pact well over a million people have pledged never to drink and drive, that’s one million people who would never actively have made this commitment without the programme. The new partnership that the brand has forged with the Formula One group is an enormous boost to our campaign and will significantly expand the scale of this wonderful initiative by reaching out to many millions more people around the world.”

*IWSR (2013)

So a spirit brand with a 40% ABV backs responsible (hahahahaha there’s that word again) drink driving campaign by sponsoring Formula 1 racing  <good grief Charlie Brown>

This just needs to stop like it did with tobacco advertising before it.

12 thoughts on “Booze brand back responsible driving campaign

  1. Who here in the sober blogosphere says ‘sobriety is the new black’? I’m beginning to think this is really true. If major brands like these try to solve issues like that… I smell the wind of change. And yes it is hypocrite, like MacDonalds selling salads. But these marketing people are paid tons to read the market and if this is what they think is the solution, they must have smelled that indeed sobriety is the new black. Good 🙂

  2. the original Johnnie Walker would be turning in his grave – did you spot in BBB’s wiki link that the man after whom the whisky was named was a teetotaler?

    and yes it does make me want to ban all alcohol advertising. because having it associated with ‘fun, exciting, glamorous’ motor racing… ugh. is that how my children will see it? the drink of racing drivers 🙁 🙁

    btw having just emerged from an Internet rabbit hole blinking into the sunlight – what proportion of UK tax revenue would you say is raised by duty on alcohol?

    in the tax year 2009/10 it was £9 billion, or 2% of total tax revenue.

    this compares for the amount raised on cigarettes of £8.8 billion, so roughly another 2%.

    both these figures exclude VAT which would add another 20% on top.

    booze + fags = roughly 4.75% of the government’s UK tax income. hmmmmm…………..

    1. Oh the irony Prim of Johnnie Walker being teetotal! I’d laugh if it wasn’t so bloody sad 🙁 Last time I looked it was about 2% but as you say once you add on VAT it’s a hefty sum – as well as all that lobbying, party funding money and subsidised bars at Westminster ……

  3. I’m like you: when is this going to go the way of tobacco advertising? This brings to mind a Budweiser ad on TV right now, a guy goes out with his friends, leaving his faithful dog at home, and when they reunite the next morning the guy tells the dog “I stayed at Dave’s because I knew I couldn’t drive home last night…” So the ad is saying it’s ok to leave your dog at home all night because you were “responsible” and didn’t drive home! Ugh! xx

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