DrinkWise and Retail Drinks Australia launch new national moderation campaign

04 December, 2020 by Andy Young

DrinkWise and Retail Drinks Australia have announced a partnership on a new national moderation campaign, which will be displayed across the retail drinks industry around Australia, as part of efforts to create a healthier and safer drinking culture across the country.

The new messaging “Choose to DrinkWise” will be displayed across marketing channels used by drinks retailers including Australian Liquor Marketers/Independent Brands Australia, Coles Liquor Group, Endeavour Drinks, Liquor Legends and Liquor Marketing Group, as well as many independently owned and operated liquor retailers across Australia from today.

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Simon Strahan, CEO of DrinkWise said: “The latest Australian Government statistics confirm the continuing trend that Australians’ relationship with alcohol is improving. Overall, less are drinking at risky levels and many have reported that they have cut down.

“This initiative aims to harness and support that trend through visible point-of-sale messaging, which will also be seen across advertising and promotional channels.

“Of course, while the majority of Australians are choosing to drink within the recommended government guidelines, there are still some who are drinking at risky levels, which is why we’re increasing our efforts and the presence of the moderation message.”

The announcement comes in the lead up to the festive holiday period and serves as a timely reminder for Australians to choose to drink in moderation.

Michael Waters, CEO of Retail Drinks, added: “Retail Drinks, our members and the broader industry are strongly committed to retailing responsibly, which is why we’re proud to launch this initiative in partnership with DrinkWise. It joins our other responsible retailing initiatives focusing on education and awareness on the sale and supply of alcohol.

“Choose to DrinkWise focuses on the important message of ‘choice’ – pleasingly Australians are continuing to make wiser choices about their relationship with alcohol; choosing what they drink and from where they purchase, choosing why they drink, when and with whom. Australian are choosing to drink less, and better quality and we expect this positive trend to continue.”

The initiative has broad political support, with Victoria’s Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Melissa Horne, saying: “We’ve had such a challenging year with people being stuck at home and people being really worried about what their future holds.

“Victorians are back seeing family for the first time, and potentially for a very long time, and having a drink with them might be part of that social experience. But do it sensibly and do it in moderation.

“It’s great to see Retail Drinks Australia partnering with DrinkWise to get that message out to make sure that everyone has a fun and safe summer.”

Victor Dominello, the NSW Minister for Customer Service, said: “If there was ever a year to pay attention to the Choose to DrinkWise campaign, this is it. The collaboration that you’re going to get out of this is going to change lives.

“Particularly during COVID I think this is critical. We all have to drink wisely of course, so I can’t think of a more important time to get behind the Choose to DrinkWise campaign.

“Enjoying a drink with friends or family is part of the Australian culture. Any way that we can educate and remind Australians about the importance of enjoying a drink responsibly, is a message I’m in favour of. I fully support this new initiative from Retail Drinks Australia and DrinkWise.”

Paul Papalia, WA’s Minister for Tourism, Racing & Gaming; Small Business; Defence Issues; Citizenship & Multicultural Interests also commended Retail Drinks and Drinkwise for the initiative.

“Industry has an important role to play in helping consumers of alcohol to understand the risks involved with overconsumption, and the Choose to Drinkwise campaign is a good step in encouraging positive behaviours,” he said.

“The State Government is committed to working with industry, health representatives and other stakeholders to continue to encourage measures which reduce alcohol-related harm.”

Chris Baddock, CEO, Australian Liquor Marketers/Independent Brands Australia agreed that it is important for the industry to lead the way in moderation messaging.

“As a key player in the industry, we truly believe that moderation is the best way to consume alcohol,” he said.

“However, some people do have a problem with alcohol and for this reason we are committed to continually remind those who choose to consume alcohol about the importance of doing so wisely and responsibly.”

Both Woolworths and Coles are supporting the campaign and Steve Donohue, Managing Director, Endeavour Group, said the group understands the importance of helping customers understand the need for moderation.

“This year has seen a really big uptake in home delivery services. But people aren’t drinking more overall, they’re drinking more from home – because they’ve been at home,” he said.

“We as retailers recognise the responsibility that goes beyond the service that we give our customers and steps into the space of educating and helping them make better choices when they’re thinking about their consumption.”

Steve Hugginson, General Manager of Operations and Supply Chain, Coles Liquor Group, added: “Coles Liquor has always taken a proactive role in promoting responsible drinking. Education is a really important part of the process and these reminders help ensure that customers keep the Choose to DrinkWise message top of mind when choosing to have a drink.”

The initiative is a proactive campaign designed to engage consumers in a positive, retail-consistent moderation message. It will also allow consumers to access moderation information and advice in a timely manner through digital channels.

To find out more about this initiative or the work of DrinkWise or Retail Drinks, visit www.drinkwise.org.au or www.retaildrinks.org.au.