February 05, 2007

In a speech delivered at the Beer Business Daily Conference in Phoenix, Guy Smith, Executive Vice President of Diageo North America, called on the members of the alcohol industry to rally their support for the launch of the “We Don’t Serve Teens” campaign aimed at fighting underage drinking. Unveiled in October, the "We Don't Serve Teens" campaign was created by the Federal Trade Commission and The Century Council to educate adults on the legal consequences of furnishing alcohol to minors.

“Diageo recognizes the significance of this campaign and we want to generate support from the entire beverage alcohol industry. Together, as a unified force, we can make a meaningful difference in the fight against underage drinking,” said Smith.

The “We Don’t Serve Teens” campaign targets adults, reminding them that providing alcohol to teens is unsafe, illegal and irresponsible. Elements of the campaign include a television public service announcement, print ads, lapel pins, posters and cold case stickers in English and Spanish that are given out at retail stores across the country.

“We are excited to work with Diageo on tackling this significant issue and we are looking forward to partnering with retailers here in Arizona and across the nation to spread the message that ‘We Don’t Serve Teens,’” said Robert Smith, President, Alliance Beverage Distributing Co.

Diageo, a leader in promoting responsible drinking and the world's leading spirits, wine, and beer company is already working with its distributors and wholesalers to launch this campaign nationwide.

“Today, I am calling on every company and every trade association in this entire industry to send the whole POS tool kit to every retailer that you do business with,” Smith said. “It is comprehensive. It is well thought-out. It was developed with the help of members of our industry. And almost everyone who has seen the program thinks it is brilliant.”

Research commissioned by The Century Council reveals that 65% of underage youth who drink obtain alcohol from family and friends. Only 7% of youth report that they obtained alcohol from retailers who failed to check for identification. Both the American Medical Association and National Academy of Sciences have shown similar evidence recognizing that underage drinkers get a large majority of their alcohol not from commercial sources, but from adults.

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