Alcohol brands to carry URL for responsible drinking site

LONDON - Drink brands such as Carling and Newcastle Brown will be among the first to carry the address of a new website where people can calculate the number of alcohol units they drink in a week.

Starting today, labels will begin directing people to drinkaware.co.uk, a site created by Craik Jones on behalf of industry body The Portman Group.

On the site, people will find a unit calculator, using real brands, serving sizes and alcoholic strengths so that they can work out how many units of alcohol they are consuming. There will also be special sections to give information to pregnant women, young people, drivers and people playing sports.

Diageo, which owns the Guinness and Smirnoff brands, helped support the development of the site and will promote it through above- and below-the-line advertising.

The site address will appear on drinks packaging, as well as in some advertising and in consumer information generated by drinks retailers and supermarkets.

Carling and Newcastle Brown are among the first to sign up to the initiative, with WKD and Bacardi-Martini planning to use it next year. Asda will also promote the site, both in store and through direct marketing to consumers.

Jean Coussins, chief executive of The Portman Group, said: "The fact that major drinks brands and retailers will be promoting the site alongside unit labelling means that consumers will instantly get to know about it and will be encouraged to visit the site to find more."

The Portman Group promotes responsible drinking and is funded by drinks companies including Interbrew, Diageo and Allied Domecq.

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.