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BITC Ireland (Diageo) - Engaging with our Staff on the Issue of Responsible Drinking

Added on 22-03-2013




BITC Ireland



Business challenge

Since 2003, Diageo Ireland has played a key role in promoting sensible drinking and encouraging customers to make responsible choices about their alcohol consumption. It is important that our work in promoting responsible drinking is understood by everyone in the company. In March 2007, we invited a cross-section of employees to participate in focus group research to establish information needs in areas including:

  • Diageo's work in promoting responsible drinking in Ireland and globally.
  • Responsible marketing, sponsorship and promotion including the codes we comply with.
  • Partnerships and alliances with key external stakeholders to be part of the solution including government and industry level.
  • Understanding unit information, low-risk drinking limits and health impacts. 

The research was invaluable and highlighted employees' interest in the future sustainability of our business, the drinks industry in general and highlighted the information gaps that exist around responsible drinking facts.


In response to the feedback we received, a communications campaign was devised for Ireland, both North  and South called "Clear Thinking, Responsible Drinking". 

We also took feedback on the best ways to communicate the messages/information and formulated a multi-media campaign to support that, including:

  • A 6 week poster campaign with distinctive graphical representation of key topics.
  • A 6 week ‘ezine' newsletter campaign with a wide variety of topics covered and a broad spectrum of key players (internal and external) interviewed. The objective was to provide top-line information, as well more in depth information available if required it and relevant links to other sources of information/3rd party sites.
  • We distributed a standard drink calculator to advise how many units are in popular drinks - the wheel was cased in an engaging holder covering the key areas of the overall campaign including Employee Alcohol Policy, low-risk limits, Diageo Marketing Code etc.
  • We distributed a standard drink measure to help people act as sensible hosts. This was complemented by a handy pamphlet and coasters with hints and tips including avoiding top-ups, drinking soft-drink 'spacers' and designating a driver.

This campaign has provided all employees with non-judgemental information about alcohol consumption and drinking guidelines, as well as insights into public policy and industry initiatives in this area.


One our biggest challenges was to communicate with a very diverse multi-site, multi jurisdiction employee body.

Information overload, even though we had so much to say.

Challenges/Lessons learned:

  • We ensured staff have an understanding of what Diageo is doing at an industry, stakeholder and political level to lead in the promotion of responsible drinking.
  • All staff now have key facts on alcohol consumption and drinking guidelines, public policy and industry initiatives.
  • This internal campaign can be used for other countries across Diageo's global network, or for application by other players in the domestic and international drinks industry

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