The three main areas where we focus our efforts are as follows:
Miller Brands is a contributing supporter of Drinkaware, an independent UK-wide, public-facing body with the objective of positively changing public behaviour and the national drinking culture, thus helping to reduce alcohol misuse and minimising alcohol-related harm. Through Drinkaware, we support efforts to raise awareness among parents, retailers and other adults about the risks of underage drinking and giving alcohol to young people. Their new campaign ad, "Talk" can be viewed below.
Through our parent company, SABMiller Plc., Miller Brands has also helped to establish the website talkingalcohol.com.This website has been established to help people make informed choices about alcohol. The site provides information about the risks and benefits of alcohol consumption and provides links to other valuable alcohol-related resources. It also provides some of the latest news and views on alcohol.
All our products carry a responsible drinking message and, along with all our marketing materials, a link to the Drinkaware website. Our products also include additional health information such as the number of units of alcohol per container and the daily recommended drinking guidelines. This also forms a part of our commitment to working with the Government as part of the labelling pledge made under the Public Health Responsibility Deal.
Working in partnership
As mentioned above, we work in partnership with the Government and the wider drinks industry through the national Public Health Responsibility Deal. We have signed up to a number of pledges through our parent company, SABMiller, to help promote responsible drinking including a committment to provide grants to give 10,000 people a qualification that will help enforce responsible drinking, by 2016; providing health related information on labels; supporting local schemes targeted at addressing issues related to alcohol abuse in certain areas across the UK and continuing financial support for Drinkaware.
At a local level, Miller Brands is a proud sponsor of the Woking Best Bar None scheme. Best Bar None seeks to raise standards of alcohol retailing in the on trade and has been hugely successful across the UK. In Woking, it has been credited with helping to reduce incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour in the town centre. To read more about the Woking scheme, click here.
Another local scheme we are actively involved with is the Surrey Alcohol Responsibility Initiative (SARI), an innovative project that brings together representatives from local business, health, council and commercial backgrounds who work together to tackle local alcohol related issues.
As distributors of a portfolio of premium beers, the ability to market our products is fundamental to the success of our business. It is also important that consumers understand about the attributes and availability of our brands, as this helps them to make educated choices about what to drink and when.
Alcohol advertising is, however, one of the most regulated forms of advertising in the world. We are committed to responsibly marketing our products which for us, means targeting our brands for responsible adult consumption amongst those who have already made the decision to consume alcohol. As funding members of the Portman Group (the responsibility body for UK drinks producers) we are obligated to comply with the strict requirements and standards set out in their Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcholic Drinks and the Code on Responsible Alcohol Sponsorship. We also comply with all other Codes of practice, including the broadcast and non-broadcast codes administered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
In addition to complying with UK rules and regulations governing the marketing of alcoholic drinks, we have also established robust internal processes to ensure we are meeting our responsibilities in this area. For example, our company Policy on Commercial Communication (POCC), which applies to all SABMiller subsidiaries, sets out the minimum standards by which we operate.
The POCC requires all SABMiller subsidiary businesses to regulate their own performance against these standards and establish internal compliance committees. The Miller Brands committee is known as the Sales and Marketing Responsibility Committee (SMRC) and is comprised of senior representatives from across the company. The SMRC is chaired by a well-known, respected member of the Woking business community. The committee meets every week to asses all marketing activities for adherence to both the letter and the spirit of these standards.
We also carry out regular staff training for our marketing teams and their external agencies In order to ensure that we meet the requirements of these Codes and adhere to both the spirit and the letter of the law.
We choose to impose these standards on ourselves in order to strike a balance between the need for societies to have responsible alcohol advertising, our right to advertise our products, and the rights of adults to have accurate product information.