Diageo joined by Ei as over 5m pledges never to drink & drive are secured

Diageo has secured over 5 million pledges never to drink and drive through its global programme Johnnie Walker #JoinThePact, beating its target a year ahead of its goal.

The programme is fronted by former and current F1 drivers including Mika Häkkinen, Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso. Häkkinen (pictured centre), Johnnie Walker’s Global Responsible Drinking Ambassador, will visit London today to celebrate reaching the target and kick off a festive push for pledges in the UK, including visiting the Houses of Parliament today to encourage MPs to sign up.

Over the Christmas period, Diageo GB is partnering with Ei Group, one of the UK’s leading pub companies, to encourage customers to make a pledge to never drink and drive and provide safe rides home over the festive period*. The activity is timed to support the Department for Transport’s annual THINK! road safety campaign.

Charles Ireland, General Manager, Diageo Great Britain, Ireland and France, said, “This is a busy time of year for our business and for the pubs that we work with across the country – however responsibility remains our number one priority.

'Our partnership with Ei Group will ensure the message to never drink and drive is seen by people as they are celebrating, and potentially deciding how to get home. We’re proud of our track record in tackling drink driving in the UK and around the world, but we are not complacent and are determined to do more.”

Paul Harbottle, Commercial Director, Ei Group, said, “We are dedicated to taking care of customers through responsible retailing and playing a positive role in the many communities where our publicans operate. Giving people a positive action they can take, like making a pledge never to drink and drive through #JoinThePact in return for a safe ride home, is a great way to engage people on an important issue like drink driving at this time of year. We’re delighted to be partnering with Diageo to share this important message.”

Diageo has also announced a tenfold increase in its next target, aiming to secure 50 million pledges by 2025 – with 2 million pledges already secured towards this goal thanks to recent activity in India.

Diageo started the #JoinThePact campaign in 2008 as part of its efforts to tackle drink driving around the world. The target of 5 million pledges has been reached early thanks to a global effort to secure pledges, with the #JoinThePact campaign already activated in over forty countries across five continents. From the heights of Nepal to the streets of Sao Paulo, the campaign has travelled the world raising awareness among consumers and encouraging millions to make a commitment never to drink and drive.

Earlier this month, #JoinThePact was launched in India, with activity taking place in Mumbai and Delhi. The Caparo T1, a two-seater supercar with Johnnie Walker responsible drinking branding, was driven by Mika Häkkinen in the streets of Delhi, to raise awareness for the campaign and promote responsible drinking – engaging the public, media and fans alike.

In Mexico, a #JoinThePact TV commercial was launched in October this year – the first time a branded responsible drinking advertisement has run on national television in the country. The Johnnie Walker film ‘Glass Car’, featuring Fernando Alonso, aired nationwide and throughout the Mexican Grand Prix.

Carolyn Panzer, Director of Alcohol in Society at Diageo, commented, “Our ambitious new target of collecting 50 million pledges never to drink and drive through #JoinThePact shows our tireless determination to make progress on reducing drinking and driving. We believe that a single death caused by drinking and driving is one too many and each one can be prevented.”