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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.
  • 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 two headings: events - with information such as how to plan an event and safety recommendations and alcohol - with information such as what alcohol is, its effect on the body, common myths and a quiz. The site also contains an online "my party" tool, testimonies and a picture library.
    • 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?").
  • 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 November 2015: Responsible Parties reached more than 250,000 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” 3,317 times (more than 1,100 "likes" over 2015).
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EVALUATION

  • Generation Europe Foundation evaluated the project by attending Responsible Parties across Europe at random and by analysing questionnaires filled by students attending the parties. The final report was produced in October 2012 (2,712 surveys analysed from 67 parties in 38 cities in 17 European countries). According to the results of the 3rd Intermediate Report:
    • 76% of all respondents noticed a responsible drinking programme in place.
    • 81% of respondents found the programme useful.
    • 4% of respondents said that they learnt something new from the programme.
    • 77% of respondents said that they would party responsibly in the future.
    • 83% of respondents found the staff easy to identify.
    • Over half of respondents said that the programme influenced their behaviour.
    • Over half of respondents were drinking alcohol before the Responsible Party.
    • Over 90% of respondents gave the programme a score of 5/10 or above with 30% giving the programme 10/10.
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