AMV to promote safer drinking for Diageo

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO has won the task to create the first campaign by Diageo to promote responsible drinking.

The agency was awarded the account following a pitch among the company's six roster agencies: J. Walter Thompson, Mother, Saatchi & Saatchi, Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy.

Last week, the competing agencies were asked to present work they had previously done that had helped to change behaviour.

While AMV currently handles Diageo's Guinness contract, the agency has also worked on the Government's Department for Transport and Department of Health accounts.

Diageo, which is the parent company for drinks brands such as Gordons Gin and Jack Daniels, is looking to promote responsible drinking habits ahead of an anticipated Government crackdown on advertising alcoholic products.

In particular, pressure is expected to mount on "alco-pops" such as Bacardi Breezer and Diageo's Smirnoff Ice, which target the younger end of the market.

A strategy for the campaign has not yet been agreed and it is not known if the advertising will focus on above- or below-the-line treatments.

Cilla Snowball, AMV's chief executive, described it as a long-term campaign to address the causes and effects of irresponsible drinking.

"It is a hard assignment, as with any behaviour-change programme," she said. "We are thinking widely and imaginatively about solutions and are proud to partner Diageo on this important initiative."

- Live Issue, p17.