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Responsible drinking programmes
supported by European spirits producers

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• “Responsible Party”
COUNTRY European Union
TIMING 2010 > Ongoing
THEME
Responsible drinking

CONTRIBUTOR

  • Pernod Ricard
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PARTNER(S)

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OBJECTIVE

  • To raise awareness of responsible consumption of alcohol during student parties by:
    • assisting student associations in organising Responsible Parties
    • providing tools to enable students to make informed choices when partying
    • making students the promoters of the Responsible Party project and reactivate the program
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DESCRIPTION OF THE INITIATIVE

  • The partnership was signed for the first time in September 2010 with the presence of the ESN President and Pernod Ricard’s CEO Pierre Pringuet.  It has been renewed each year since 2010, to keep up the momentum and people motivated, first in June 2011, then in October 2012 in December 2013 and in January 2015.  The cooperation between Pernod Ricard and ESN does not imply a commercial relationship.  
  • On 24 January 2017, the partnership agreement was signed for the 7th time. Organised in the framework of the 30th anniversary of Erasmus+, the official contract renewal ceremony was held at Sofitel Brussels and preceded by a debate hosted by EurActiv.  At the closure of the debate, Safi Sabuni and Alexandre Ricard took the stage for the official contract renewal ceremony.
  • The program is mainly implemented in cooperation with the ESN student association.  It is coordinated at the European Level by Pernod Ricard’s CSR department and the International Board of ESN.  Then, local Pernod Ricard affiliates provide the necessary information and prevention/communication/promotional tools to ESN sections which are in charge of organising the events and promoting the Responsible Party principles.  Some simple organisation rules are part of the program like no open bars, no free alcoholic drinks and no advertising of the party based on alcohol and its price.
  • Since the beginning of the academic year 2012/2013 workshops and trainings have been held delivered to ESN volunteers during national, regional and international events to help with the challenge for volunteers to talk to their peers about responsible alcohol consumption.
  • The responsible drinking messages are communicated during events via:
    • Responsible Party Ambassadors who are the partygoers' peers and who wear special t-shirts and caps so they can be easily recognised. They talk to students about how it is possible to have fun and be responsible at the same time and offer advice on responsible consumption such as not drinking because of peer pressure, alternating alcoholic drinks with soft drinks and not drinking too much. They also hand out information flyers, gadgets and when possible provide free water.
    • A designated driver system. The driver receives a special bracelet so they can receive a free soft drink and when leaving the party, they are asked to blow into a breathalyser to ensure that they didn’t drink any alcohol. If the result is negative they are receive a reward. Since the beginning of the 2nd phase, for the big events, special buses drive students safely back home.
    • A communication campaign: posters (binge drinking, peer pressure, eating, drinking soft drinks and drink-driving), information flyers as well as useful tips for a safe night out.
    • Dedicated website which contains information under five headings: the concept; the squad; the facts; the quiz; the party.
    • Dedicated Facebook page which contains information about alcohol and the risks of its misuse. Lithuania has a local Facebook page.
    • A Responsible Party App, launched for Android in December 2013 and a version for IOS was launched in April 2014. It allows students to control their alcohol rate by means of a calculator, to learn more about alcohol legislation in their countries of residence, to be informed about the next responsible evenings to be held, or to find a taxi hotline. 
    • Other ways include: a contest linked to the evaluation of the program with a chance to win trip to Cuba (run from October 2013 to June 2014), a contest for new posters launched in December 2012 and new gadgets (badges with slogan on Responsible consumption, new polo shirts for ambassadors, Facebook cards, sunglasses). Locally, the affiliates develop Responsible Party branded bottles of water to distribute for free during the parties or water backpacks, cakes branded with responsible messages and badges with slogans on responsible consumption have been developed (4 slogans: "Young and responsible? Yes you can", "Water? I say yes!", "Fun and Responsible? Both", "I drink smart, do you?").
    • In 2016 a series of visuals were created using #bustthehangover.
  • During the party, the ambassadors run surveys to evaluate the visibility of the program and use the occasion for additional peer to peer communication on responsible drinking.
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IMPACT

  • Until January 2017: More than 500 Responsible Parties have reached more than 330,000 students in 30 countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Macedonia, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. It is currently run in 28 countries.
  • The Facebook page was “liked” over 6,600 times until October 2017.
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EVALUATION

  • Since 2015 independent scientific study has been carried out by researchers at the University of Louvain (Belgium).
  • September 2015 to June 2016 evaluation: The overall design of the programme and its implementation, as well as the appreciation of it by students attending the events was measured.  The evaluation was carried out in 2 phases.  The second phase contacted students who had provided their email address during the first phase.
    • Phase 1: 10,274 participants (including 3,888 exchange students) from 66 different countries filled in the questionnaire.  30% of were aware of the Responsible Party programme.  Of these, 52% had already attended at least one Responsible Party event (1,515).  They were made aware of the programme through: gadgets (33.3%), posters/flyers (31.3%) and the Party Squad (29.2%).  91% agreed that the Responsible Party is primarily a programme that provides information about alcohol consumption and 60% agreed that it is a programme that supplied tools to control their alcohol consumption.  92% considered the tips given to be very good, leading 60% to modify their drinking behaviour.
    • Phase 2: 4,527 participants (including 1,562 exchange students) from 52 different countries were contacted.  49% of were aware of the Responsible Party programme.  Of these, 27% had already attended at least one event.  They were made aware of the programme through: gadgets (64.8%), posters/flyers (62%) and the Party Squad (61.8%).  59.9% agreed that the programme mainly gives tips for responsible alcohol consumption.  87.5 either fully or partially agreed it is a useful prevention programme.  57.9 either fully or partially agreed that they had changed their drinking behaviour as a result of the programme. Students modified their mode of consumption a “little” (36.9%p or “quite a lot” (23.8%).  However, the majority did not decrease their consumption during the party (41.3%), while 39.5% slightly decreased it.   38.8% had learned something new regarding alcohol consumption but 51.5% had not changed their opinion about alcohol consumption.
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