PROMOTE RESPONSIBLE DRINKING

"THE ABSOLUT COMPANY PUTS A LOT OF EFFORT INTO PREVENTING MINORS FROM DRINKING ALCOHOL AND DELAYING THEIR FIRST USE OF ALCOHOL."

The absolut company shares the vision of Pernod Ricard – to be creators of conviviality, or Créateurs de Convivialité. This vision includes shared moments of happiness and joy together with friends, family and relatives. The company’s products shall be used to enhance such moments, regardless of their significance or scale. Drinking socially means drinking responsibly. Our aim is to instill this within our one community. Conviviality is incompatible with extremes or excess.

For most people, drinking alcohol is about just that – making a joyful moment a bit more enjoyable. However, drinking alcohol poses some dangers, and being a responsible company includes taking responsibility for use of the products and the negative effects they may cause. 

Promoting responsible drinking is the company’s number one sustainability priority. Over the years Pernod Ricard and The Absolut Company have partnered with global and local organizations on many initiatives aiming to curb excessive and inappropriate alcohol consumption. 

Pernod Ricard focuses on young people and pregnant women, and on preventing risky behaviours such as drinking and driving. Since cultural contexts vary between the countries in which the products are sold, the work focuses on different aspects in different regions. In South Africa and Mexico, the Group supports programs to prevent pregnant women from drinking alcohol and to tell them about the associated risks. In parts of Asia, the company educates consumers about the dangers of drinking and driving. The Absolut Company puts a lot of effort in Sweden into preventing minors from drinking alcohol and delaying their first use of alcohol.

The Absolut Company has reached out to youth with the message “you can enjoy an evening, a festival or a party without alcohol” by partnering with Fryshuset, one of the world’s largest youth centers, in the heart of Stockholm. The center promotes social inclusion and self-esteem. The company supports Fryshuset’s alcohol-free club, The Wave, and their Event Evolution program which trains young people in organizing drug-free events. 

Another important initiative is Prata Om Alkohol (Talk About Alcohol), a school program which aims to raise the age at which young people begin drinking and to reduce drunkenness, as well as changing attitudes and behaviours. The focus from the beginning has been on life-skills, to enhance self-esteem and to help young people to handle peer pressure. It was launched in 2006, together with the Swedish trade association SVL. During the last ten years the program has reached an astonishing 450,000 students and 10,000 teachers. 75 percent of Swedish secondary schools now use the program. 

The Absolut Company also provides support to another organization in Stockholm called Nattskiftet (Night Shift). The partnership brings together city officials, local police and the popular nightclub 

Trädgården to help people feel safer at night in Sweden’s capital city, and to tackle sexual abuse and violence. They have trained a group of volunteers who accompany people on their way home, so they feel safer.

All employees are regarded as ambassadors and role models for responsible and moderate drinking. Therefore, the company puts a lot of effort into educating all co-workers on how to behave with and around alcohol. There are a number of do’s and don’ts to follow and to be inspired by. The central messages are to keep consumption down, zero-tolerance for drinking and driving, and to always have alcohol-free alternatives available during events and hospitality. 

The Absolut Company markets global brands, reaching consumers around the world. In order to walk the talk, and talk the walk, the company commits to various rules on advertising. For instance, the company follows international guidelines applied in the sector, and all advertising within the company is reviewed by top management, to make sure it follows the rules. 

One of the cornerstones of the guidelines is that only media for which a minimum of 70 percent of the consumers are over legal drinking age may be used for advertising. Moreover, all models must be at least 25 years old so as not to promote drinking by young people. Furthermore, the advertising shall not allude to drinking and driving, hazardous activities, social or sexual success, drinking amongst minors or during pregnancy, or be coupled to performance. 

All the work that is put into promoting responsible drinking is a way of taking responsibility for the risks that are associated with the products. The company produces and sells premium products that shall be used as part of a balanced lifestyle, and as a way to enhance already festive and joyful moments.

RESPONSIBLE DRINKING 

  • The Absolut Company shares the vision of Pernod Ricard – to be creators of conviviality, or Créateurs de Convivialité. This vision includes shared moments of happiness and joy together with friends, family and relatives.

  • Promoting responsible drinking is the company’s number one sustainability priority. Pernod Ricard focuses on young people and pregnant women, and on preventing risky behaviours such as drinking and driving.

  • All employees are regarded as ambassadors and role models for responsible and moderate drinking. Therefore, the company puts a lot of effort into educating all co-workers on how to behave with and around alcohol.

  • The Absolut Company markets global brands, reaching consumers around the world. In order to walk the talk, and talk the walk, the company commits to various rules on advertising.

Good Times and
a Good Attitude

INTERVIEW WITH NANNY MARJANOVIC

“OUR GOAL IS TO EMPOWER YOUNG PEOPLE AND WE PROVIDE MEETING POINTS FREE FROM ALCOHOL AND DRUGS. WE SHARE A COMMON VISION WITH THE ABSOLUT COMPANY – TO DELAY YOUNG PEOPLE’S FIRST USE OF ALCOHOL AND TO PROVIDE ALTERNATIVES.”

More than 5,000 young people aged 14 to 18 have participated in clubs and events arranged by Fryshuset in cooperation with The Absolut Company. Fryshuset is an activity centre in Stockholm, offering social projects, education and events for teenagers. 

“Our goal is to empower young people and we provide meeting points free from alcohol and drugs. We share a common vision with The Absolut Company – to delay young people’s first use of alcohol and to provide alternatives.” 

Nanny Snezana Marjanovic is Head of Activities in the Youth and Culture department at Fryshuset. She is responsible for the cooperation with The Absolut Company, and together they have arranged 14 events in the last few years. The primary objective of the cooperation is to delay young people’s first use of alcohol. This is done by providing information about the effects of alcohol, offering tools to withstand peer pressure, and organising alcohol-free events and activities. All recent studies and research show that delaying young people’s first use of alcohol is critical for responsible drinking habits later in life. Fryshuset, supported by The Absolut Company, strives to attract young people to their activities so they don’t spend time in places where they are at risk of exposure to alcohol. 

“We have different kinds of events. We arrange large clubs with between 250 and 750 participants, which are just like clubs for adults, except without the alcohol. These clubs are called ‘The Wave’. We also have smaller events, for up to 250 participants.” 

Established DJ’s and artists perform in the larger clubs. The themes for the smaller events vary; they may be dance shows, other kinds of performances or workshops. “We celebrated Justin Bieber’s 20th birthday at one of these smaller events. More than 100 young girls attended. We released balloons and had a birthday party for him. The girls had so much fun!”

The idea behind the events, as well as other activities at Fryshuset, is to show that alcohol is not necessary for having a good time. 

“We want to provide a place where teenagers can meet and enjoy themselves. Most of them are not really interested in drinking alcohol. It’s just something they do for lack of something more engaging. We give them the opportunity to meet, laugh, dance, sweat and jump without using drugs or alcohol. They have good experiences at a club, disco or party, with lots of fun but without alcohol.” 

The cooperation with The Absolut Company started four years ago, and since then several thousand young people have attended the events at Fryshuset. Many of them have delayed drinking alcohol as a result. 
“We foster a moderate and responsible approach to drinking amongst the young people. We want to show that it’s not the alcohol that makes events enjoyable.

Many of them come back and visit us when they are older, and it is nice to see that they often have the same attitude to alcohol as they did when they were here - moderate and responsible.” 

The cooperation between Fryshuset and The Absolut Company has extended to include education for young people who want to work with, festivals, concerts and other cultural events: Event Evolution. The project helps young people to develop entrepreneurial skills. 

“For each event that we arrange, a large number of young people participate in the planning and implementation. They buy supplies, book artists, prepare the facilities, design the posters and make all the other preparations. The staff at Fryshuset are the facilitators and supervisors. We give them the tools and they do the work.” 

After the events, many of those who have participated in the work express an interest in continuing and developing their new-found skills, and they dream of working in the event business. “One of our goals – apart from fostering responsible alcohol behavior – is to empower the young people and provide them with tools for the future. Education is one of our core activities. It felt natural to expand our cooperation with The Absolut Company by developing this education project.” 

Nanny says that one of the many good things about the cooperation is that The Absolut Company is always open to new ideas. The activities at Fryshuset have changed over the years, which is natural as trends come and go. They listen all the time to the young people’s wishes and suggestions so they can support them to implement their ideas and realize their dreams.

“We are continually developing our activities. An organization like ours can’t just keep on doing the same things as we would soon lose our visitors. Therefore, we’re always asking ourselves how we can improve. This is something we share with The Absolut Company, and one of the reasons behind our successful cooperation.”

QUICK FACTS

  • More than 5,000 young people aged 14 to 18 have participated in alcohol free clubs and events arranged by Fryshuset in cooperation with The Absolut Company.  

  • Fryshuset in cooperation with The Absolut Company have arranged 14 events in the last few years. The primary objective of the cooperation is to delay young people’s first use of alcohol.

  • The cooperation between Fryshuset and The Absolut Company has extended to include education for young people who want to work with cultural events: Event Evolution. The project helps young people to develop entrepreneurial skills

Promoting Conviviality

INTERVIEW WITH PAULA ERIKSSON

"I AM PROUD TO SAY THAT WE TODAY GO FOR 100 PERCENT COMPLIANCE OF ALL OUR BRANDS GLOBALLY, INCLUDING THE INCREASING AMOUNT OF DIGITAL ADVERTISING AND NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT"

Being a big advertiser in the spirits industry, we fully recognize our responsibility for how we market our brands.” Paula Eriksson, VP Corporate Communications at The Absolut Company, talks about the company’s commitment to promote a culture of responsible drinking also through its portfolio of global brands, Absolut, Malibu and Kahlúa. 

“We started off reviewing our advertising against industry guidelines already in 2006. I am proud to say that we today go for 100 percent compliance of all our brands globally, including the increasing amount of digital advertising and new product development.” 

One of the cornerstones of the guidelines is that advertising must only be made in media channels where at a minimum 70 percent of the consumers are over legal drinking age. Moreover, the advertising shall not encourage excessive consumption, imply improved performance, social– or sexual success, allude to drinking and driving or other hazardous activities, nor have any primary appeal to minors. 

“For people over the legal drinking age, we strive to be helpful and informative, giving consumers tips and tricks for drinking in moderation and staying safe. We provide consumer information and responsible-drinking messages on all bottles and in all advertising so as to remind our customers to consume wisely.”

The company has more ways to promote responsible drinking directly to its consumers. In 2014, Pernod Ricard launched the Wise Drinking app – a tool for nights out. It helps people to keep track on the number of drinks they’ve consumed, warn them if they’ve had a bit too much, and help them call a friend at the end of the night for a ride home. The app is available in more than 30 languages, and is adapted to local regulations about alcohol consumption.

The ‘Recognize the Moment’ program on absolut.com offers tips and tools to help people make better decisions when it comes to alcohol consumption. The program is linked to a cocktail database and the app ‘Drinkspiration’, where there are alcohol-free suggestions for those who choose not to drink alcohol but still want to enjoy a tasty cocktail. 

“We have also developed tools that help younger people make healthy choices when faced with peer pressure to drink. Our mobile application Buddy Check helps friends stay together during a night out. The app combines GPS functionality with timed buddy checks. Friends can message each other on the app, and the technology lets them know if anyone gets too far away from the group. It’s a tool that makes it more fun and safe to stick together throughout the night.” 

The Absolut Company also has an extensive work to postpone the drinking debut for minors, by information 

and by providing alternatives to alcohol.  “In 2006, in an initiative together with the trade association Sprit- och Vinleverantörsföreningen, we launched a program to keep young people from drinking alcohol. During the last ten years we’ve reached an amazing 450,000 students and 10,000 teachers. Three quarters of Swedish secondary schools now use the program.”

The program aims to raise the age at which young people begin drinking and to reduce drunkenness, but also to change attitudes and behaviour. The focus from the beginning has been on life-skills, to enhance self-esteem and to help young people to handle peer pressure. Together with alcohol prevention specialists, teachers and designers, materials suitable for young people between 13 and 18 years have been developed. 

“It started by asking teachers and other staff at Swedish schools what materials they needed about alcohol prevention. We also wanted to find out how such materials should be designed to get the desired results – to prevent young people from using alcohol.” 

At first the initiative consisted of a website and a book that was handed out in schools and used as a basis for classroom discussions. Since then, the program has grown to include a lot more. The best contributions are published in a book that is sold on the website. The winner receives 10,000 SEK (just over €1,000) to share with his or her class. 

There are now lots of different information materials, to suit different schools and ages. It has been so popular that it has spread to Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Estonia and Lithuania. 

A pilot-study showed that the project’s results were very good. That limited study has since been scaled up to cover more schools and to follow students for a longer period. This study started in 2014 and will be finished in 2017.

QUICK FACTS

  • One of the cornerstones of the guidelines is that advertising must only be made in media channels where at a minimum 70 percent of the consumers are over legal drinking age.

  • In 2014, Pernod Ricard launched the Wise Drinking app – a tool for nights out. It helps people to keep track on the number of drinks they’ve consumed and warn them if they’ve had a bit too much.

  • In an initiative together with the trade association Sprit- och Vinleverantörsföreningen, the company launched a program to keep young people from drinking alcohol. During the last ten years they’ve reached 450,000 students and 10,000 teachers. 

PARTNERS IN RESPONSIBLE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION

OUR PRODUCTS ARE COMMON GUESTS AT FESTIVE OCCASIONS LIKE DINNERS, PARTIES AND NIGHTS OUT. BUT WE KNOW THE DANGERS THAT ALCOHOL CAN POSE, AND WORK HARD TO ADVOCATE FOR THE RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION OF OUR PRODUCTS.

Pernod Ricard has been strongly committed to responsible alcohol consumption since the 1970s. As ambassadors for our brands, we have a big responsibility – one that we take very seriously. We have partnered with global and local organizations on wide-ranging initiatives that aim to curb excessive and inappropriate alcohol consumption.

Two main focus areas are; preventing alcohol consumption by minors, and educating consumers about the dangers of drinking and driving.

This is why, each year, we also gather everyone within The Absolut Company and the entire Pernod Ricard, a total of 19,000 employees for our ”Resonsible’All Day”. During this day we share knowledge about encouraging responsible alcohol consumption, inspire eachother by presenting new initiatives and build an understaning among all of us as important brand ambassadors.

One of these initiatives is to help young people say no to alcohol. Since 2006, The Absolut Company has been a strong partner of a Swedish initiative called Prata Om Alcohol (POA) – or Talk About Alcohol. 

This internationally recognized school program teaches young people how to say no to alcohol and resist peer pressure. POA has reached an incredible 450,000 students and 10,000 teachers, and 75% of Swedish secondary schools now use the program. It has been so popular, in fact, that it has been adapted for use in driving schools, and has spread internationally to Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Estonia and Lithuania.

We also work closely together with Fryshuset in Stockholm, one of the world’s largest youth centers. The wor done at Fryshuset focuses a lot on social inclusion and self-esteem and we are strong supporters of their no-alcohol dance, The Wave. We also support them in their Event Evolution program that educates young people about organizing drug-free events.

Another local partnership is together with an organization called Nattskiftet (Night Shift). They work to bring togethercity officials, local police and the popular nightclub Trädgården in Stockholm to help people feel safer at night. The organization has a group of trained volunteers, who offer their company to bar-goers on their way home.

PARTNERSHIPS THAT EDUCATE AND INSPIRE

Since 2006, The Absolut Company has been a strong partner of a Swedish initiative called Prata Om Alcohol (POA) – or Talk About Alcohol. This internationally recognized school program teaches young people how to say no to alcohol and resist peer pressure. POA has reached an incredible 450,000 students and 10,000 teachers, and 75% of Swedish secondary schools now use the program. It has been so popular, in fact, that it has been adapted for use in driving schools, and has spread internationally to Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Estonia and Lithuania.

Our preventative work with young people is a cornerstone of our outreach. And so our partnership

with Fryshuset, one of the world's largest youth centers, was quite natural. The center focuses on social inclusion and self-esteem. We are strong supporters of their no-alcohol dance The Wave, and their Event Evolution program that educates young people about organizing drug-free events.

We also support our home city of Stockholm. We are partners with a local organization called Nattskiftet (Night Shift), which brings together city officials, local police and the popular nightclub Trädgården to help people feel safer in Sweden’s capital city at night. The organization has a group of trained volunteers, who offer their company to bar-goers on their way home.

INTERVIEW LISEN ANDREASSON FLORMAN, FOUNDER OF NATTSKIFTET

A HANDCRAFTED TRIBUTE TO TRADITION AND TASTE

WHY DID YOU START NATTSKIFTET?

We felt there was a real need for a safety organization that operated among the bar scene at night to fight violence and sexual abuse. Along with the nightclub Trädgården, we wanted to make it safer for people to get home at night.

YOU’VE BEEN AROUND FOR ALMOST A YEAR. HOW IS IT GOING?

The response has been tremendous. When we started looking for volunteers, or Night Friends as we call them, we received 900 applications. About 100 of those were selected and did the training. Our Night Friends are doctors and teachers, as well as club organizers and club goers. They all just want to help make the city safer.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE TRAINING?

During the two-day training, we talk about our vision 

and go through relevant laws, obligations and rights. It is work that we do together with the police and the women’s shelter Somaya. We also train all participants in CPR and self-defense.

HOW MANY NIGHT FRIENDS ARE ACTIVE ON A NORMAL NIGHT OUT?

We have about 10 to 15 people out there. But at major events like the Bråvalla Festival, we have up to 60 people.

HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE?

This year, we want to work even harder to develop our business. We’ve learned many lessons that we can use to improve safety. We also hope to open branches in more cities. There is interest from Umeå, Gothenburg and Malmö, which is great.

SMART TOOLS
FOR SMART DRINKING

The global market in which we operate is full of different regulations – both legislative and cultural – when it comes to alcohol consumption. That’s why our strong code of ethics ensures that all of our marketing supports moderation and safety.

We also strive to be helpful and informative, giving consumers of drinking age tips and tricks for enjoying responsibly – and staying safe.

In 2014, Pernod Ricard launched the Wise Drinking app – a fun and interactive tool for nights out. It helps people track the number of drinks they’ve consumed, warn them if they’ve had a bit too much, and help them call a friend at the end of the night for a ride home. The app is available in more than 30 languages, and is adapted to local regulations regarding alcohol consumption.

Our Recognize the Moment program on absolut.com offers easy-to-use tips and tools to help people make better decisions when it comes to alcohol consumption. The program is linked to the extensive cocktail database at absolutdrinks.com and our app Drinkspiration, where there are alcohol-free suggestions for those who want to abstain but still want to enjoy a tasty cocktail.

We have also developed tools that help younger people make healthy choices when faced with peer pressure to drink. Our mobile application Buddy Check helps friends stay together during a night out. The app combines GPS functionality with timed buddy checks. Friends can message each other on the app, and geofencing technology lets them know if anyone gets too far away from the group. It’s a tool that makes it more fun and safe to stick together throughout the night.