By Andrew Starke

Major Diageo Australia brands such as Bundaberg Rum, Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff will soon feature warning labels on their packaging as part of an initiative to encourage responsible drinking.

The new labelling aligns with a commitment taken in late 2009 by the Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia (DSICA) to include a standard responsible drinking message on members’ alcohol products.

The initiative, which is being progressively rolled out over the coming months, will see Diageo Australia product labels carrying the message, “Is your drinking harming yourself or others?”.

This message will appear alongside the standard drinks logo as well as a web address for further information on alcohol and responsible drinking.

“We are proud of the products we manufacture, and we want to encourage anyone who consumes them to do so in a responsible manner,” said Diageo Australia’s corporate relations director, Bob Rayner.

“Consumer research conducted on behalf of DSICA tested four key areas of health, safety, responsibility and moderation with consumers. It found that consumers reacted most strongly to a question that encouraged them to consider the impact of drinking on themselves and on those around them.”

Bundaberg Rum will be one of the first brands to carry the new responsible drinking message: all Bundaberg Rum full strength bottled spirits (FSBS) will display the new labelling from mid 2010 followed by Bundaberg ready-to-drink products (RTDs) from September this year.

Diageo Australia’s other core brands – Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker and Baileys – will carry the new label by mid 2011, while all other remaining brands will introduce the label as packaging changes occur.

“The responsible drinking message has already appeared on a number of products in recent months and we have received good feedback from distributors, customers and consumers,” said Rayner.

“We are proud of our track record in working on this with stakeholders including government, law enforcement bodies, the hospitality industry, NGOs and consumers.”

Diageo Australia has conducted numerous responsible drinking campaigns in recent years.

These include the ‘Know When to Declare’ campaign in partnership with Cricket Australia, Channel Nine and Fosters, the Johnnie Walker ‘Pace Yourself Walk Tall’ campaign, Bundaberg Rum’s ‘Fine Form’ campaign, the NSW Liquor Accords toolkit in partnership with the Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing and its alcohol awareness program DRINKiQ.

The company also contributes more than $700,000 annually to support the work of social aspects organisation DrinkWise.


The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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