Encouraging responsible drinking in the USA
36. Chapter 3: The products (continued)
Enjoy Heineken Responsibly
Heineken USA is committed to being at the
forefront of efforts to encourage responsible
drinking. The Enjoy Heineken Responsibly (EHR)
campaign began in November 2004 to address
responsible drinking challenges such as drunk
driving, youth access to alcohol and alcohol
abuse. This campaign was a natural evolution
of the work that had been done in this field
over many previous years.
A number of different initiatives have been
developed around the campaign as part of
Heineken's desire to inform consumers about
responsible drinking and encouraging appropriate
consumption. These range from working closely
with communities, health care facilities,
government agencies, local distributors and
colleges, to providing useful online educational
tools and public service announcements about
the dangers of alcohol misuse.
"Offering our product in a responsible way isn't just
the right thing to do, it's also the smart thing to do,"
says Suzanne Cosgrove, Corporate Responsibility
Manager at Heineken USA. "Americans are
sophisticated consumers and there's a lot of
research that shows they are more likely to be
loyal to companies that really care about their
business environment and their impact on society."
In 2005, Heineken USA joined forces with the New
York Presbyterian Healthcare System and the White
Plains Hospital Center to form the Health Alliance
on Alcohol as part of a national public initiative to
bring attention to the problems of alcohol abuse
and underage drinking.
The Alliance recently published Talking to Teens:
Underage Drinking, the first of a series of nine
educational booklets written by independent
medical experts aimed at helping parents prevent
these problems through effective communication
with their children.
Heineken USA has also partnered to elicit
suggestions from scores of college campuses
across the USA for formulating responsible
advertising messages to discourage alcohol
abuse and misuse among youth.
In order to help ensure that none of its advertising
even unintentionally has special appeal to those
under the legal drinking age or appears to condone
irresponsible drinking. Heineken USA established
an independent advertising complaint review panel
to review any complaints that Heineken consumer
advertising violates applicable industry or company
Code provisions on responsible marketing.
Drunk driving is also being addressed through
dedicated awareness campaigns. Heineken
frequently provides electronic age-verification
systems and/or free taxicab rides at many of the
events it sponsors. A 1-800 taxicab number was
launched allowing anyone in the USA to instantly
contact his or her local taxicab company free
Cosgrove believes 2007 will be an important
year for governments, industry and public health
organisations to further address alcohol-related
problems and promote responsible consumption.
For the time being, the EHR campaign is bringing
some unexpected positive effects for Heineken
"I've gotten many responses saying: I feel so good
about working for a responsible company that is
doing these sort of things," she says. "Some of
our marketing managers who were cautious
about this campaign to begin with now see how
complementary it is to our marketing, because our
customers as well as the public generally care
about what we do!"
Heineken N.V. - 2004/2005 Sustainability Report