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• “Your kids and alcohol”
COUNTRY United Kingdom
TIMING 2011 > Ongoing
THEME
Underage drinking

CONTRIBUTOR

  • The Drinkaware Trust
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OBJECTIVE

  • To provide parents with the tools they need to have meaningful conversations with their children about alcohol from an earlier age.
  • To delay a child's first alcoholic drink.
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DESCRIPTION OF THE INITIATIVE

  • The campaign is a result of research which shows that the majority of children say they would go to their parents first for advice whilst 80% of parents say they would "deal with it when it happens" with regards to alcohol. 
  • Launched in October 2011, it encourages parents to talk to their children about alcohol, highlights the importance of talking to pre-teens (9-12 years old) and promotes new resources available for parents to help them confidently start a conversation with their children about alcohol before their peers do. Parents can access conversation starters, age appropriate advice, simple facts and information about the influence their own drinking has both online and via the printed "Your kids and alcohol" leaflet.
  • In order to spread the message a launch event where some of the country's most influential parenting experts/bloggers were invited was held. Invitees included: Joanna Moorhead (freelance journalist with The Guardian and mother of four); Carrie Longton (Co-Founder of Mumsnet); Eileen Hayes (parenting expert); Kate Sutton (Brit Mums 'Blogger of the Week') and Penny Alexander (British Mummy Blogger's 2010 'Fresh Voice' winner). In addition, a digital advertising campaign ran throughout November 2011 across key parenting and lifestyle sites. Digital banner ads showed a child peeping out from behind an alcoholic drink asking the questions parents find difficult to answer. The viewer was then guided through to an interactive video where they could take part in a conversation with a 13 year old girl and shape the discussion by choosing their response from a selection of video clips (The video is now on the Parents homepage).
  • In 2012, to coincide with the results of research (see below), Drinkaware published advice for parents encouraging them to talk to their children about alcohol during the Christmas party season and to be aware that their own festive drinking could have an influence on their kids. The advice, available at drinkaware.co.uk/parents, is compiled by Drinkaware’s Mumtank, a group of expert mums, including Mumsnet co-founder Carrie Longton, TV’s Dr Sarah Jarvis and parenting expert Sue Atkins. In addition a live Twitter chat was held from  8pm to 9pm on 4 December to discuss the topic of children and alcohol using the hashtag #kidsandalcohol.
  • Parenting website Mumsnet promotes the campaign through its online forums and by carrying our digital banner ads. 
  • The campaign complements the schools based In:tuition programme.
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IMPACT

  • The campaign attracted national news coverage. On the morning of the launch, The Sun newspaper carried an interview with Drinkaware Chief Executive, Chris Sorek which detailed the CMO guidance for an alcohol-free childhood. The campaign was also picked up by BBC Online with their article receiving over 400 comments.
  • The video was played more than 800,000 times and 100,000 parents leaflets were handed out from launch until February 2013.
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EVALUATION

  • Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative quota sample of 1,433 parents of children aged 10-17 across the UK who are of social grade ABC1 and are online. Of these parents, 652 allowed their child aged 10-17 to be interviewed. Interviews were conducted online with members of Ipsos MORI’s online panel and their children. Parents were first invited to take part and provide consent for their son or daughter to complete the children's survey. The research was conducted in compliance with the Market Research Society (MRS) Code of Conduct. The data has been combined from three waves of research: 16tNovember to 1 December 2011, 7 to 29 February 2012 (parents only) and 20 June to 11 July 2012.  The data were weighted by age, gender, region and social grade to the known population profiles.
    • Results highlight that 30% of ABC1 parents in the UK drink above the unit guidelines and that there are links between the amount parents drink, their attitudes to children and alcohol, and their children’s drinking behaviour. Parents who drink above the unit guidelines appear to have a more relaxed attitude to underage drinking than parents who are tee-total or drink within the guidelines. According to the research these parents are: More likely to think it’s acceptable for parents to allow their under 16’s to drink (43% vs. 37%) and less likely to think their own drinking has the biggest influence on their children’s attitudes to alcohol (43% vs. 54%). They are also more likely to think it is inevitable that a child under 16 will drink(68% vs. 58%).
    • The majority of 10-17 year olds surveyed show a sensible attitude to drink: More than three quarters (77%) of 10-17 year olds think that seeing young people their age getting drunk isn’t cool and the overwhelming majority (93%) think it is not ok for someone their age to get drunk once a week and just 11% think that it’s ok to try getting drunk to see what it’s like. Those with parents who drink above guidelines were more likely (19%) to report having ever been drunk compared to those with parents who drink within the guidelines or not at all (11%).  In addition they were more likely (21%) to drink at least monthly compared to those with parents who drink within the guidelines or not at all (12%). 
 
  • Independent research found that 44% of parents claimed to go on to have a conversation with their child about alcohol and 19% agreed they would not give alcohol to their children before the age of 15.
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