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• “Would you sell alcohol to your child?”
• “Vai tu pārdotu alkoholu savam bērnam?”
COUNTRY Latvia
TIMING 2016 > Ongoing
THEME
Responsible selling/serving

CONTRIBUTOR

  • Latvian Alcohol Industry Association
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PARTNER(S)

  • Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Latvia
  • Latvian traders association
  • Association of leading latvian food retailers
  • Latvian Medical Association
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OBJECTIVE

  • To draw attention to the problem of alcohol consumption among minors.
  • To remind sales staff about the ban on selling alcohol to minors. 
  • To change the attitude towards minors, were they should provide and be asked to provide documents.
  • To provide practical assistance to on-trade and off-trade sales personnel.
  • To achieve a more responsible approach in respect of the legal purchase age.
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DESCRIPTION OF THE INITIATIVE

  • The campaign was launched in 2016 to coincide with the beginning of the school year, a time when many minors buy alcohol.
  • Cashiers are reminded to ask customers for proof of age if they look under 30 or are in doubt. 
  • Visuals are used to support and encourage traders to always check whether a young person has reached the appropriate age to buy alcoholic beverages.  
  • The seller is encouraged to imagine what it would be like to sell alcohol to their own child and what the consequences would be.
  • 2 big posters, 10 stickers, 10 flyers, calendars and brochures are distributed to retail stores, bars, restaurants and cafés. The biggest retail chains take part as well as, many bars, restaurants and cafés (Maxima, Mego, Prisma, Elvi, Alk Outlet, Latvijas Balzams etc). Coverage in news, newspapers and analytical sites is also established to tackle underage drinking. 
  • A special journal for Members of parliament, sales persons and merchants was distributed in cooperation with the Latvian Merchants and sellers association.
  • In 2017, a social media campaign was created and more of the HoReCa (Hotels, Cafés, Restaurants) sector became involved.  Monthly learning sessions (video presentations) were set up for sales personnel in order to offer practical assistance. 
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IMPACT

  • In 2017:
    • Around 400 HoReCa sites joined the campaign.  
    • 1,254 Maxima (retailer) cashier tills were set up with campaign materials.  
    • The campaign had the potential to reach 2 million through: TV: Mentioned 5 times on the news reaching around 320,000 people.  Radio: Mentioned 11 times reaching around 220,000 people.  10+ articles on the internet about the campaign.  1,000 copies of the special journal were distributed. 
  • In 2016, more than 500 shops were provided with materials, while bars, restaurants, and cafes were supplied with material (posters, stickers and flyers) appealing to employees to consider carefully before serving alcohol to youth without age verifying identification. 3 newspaper articles, 1 analytic programme on tackling the problem, 3 radio news mentions and 15 articles on the internet reached around 250,000 people with the potential to reach around 1 million.
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EVALUATION

  • Evaluation was carried out with Mystery shoppers, (minors), who tried to purchase alcohol at the start of the campaign and at the end of it.  The idea was to test whether sales stuff would actually sell alcohol to minors without asking for ID.  The Mystery Shoppers (minors) were asked to try to look older and to try to buy alcohol without showing their ID.
  • In 2016 alcohol was sold to minors 17 out of 50 times (34%) before and 13 out of 50 times (26%) after the campaign.   At the beginning of the campaign, the Government police stated that they would also be carrying out mystery shopping - at the same time as the campaign.  This means that the number of staff selling to minors would normally be higher.
  • As to whether boys or girls were more successful:
    • In 2016, Boys succeeded in buying alcohol 2/25 times and girls succeeded 15/25 times at the beginning of the campaign.  After the campaign this had dropped to 0/25 for boys and 13/25 for girls. 
    • In 2017, the problem increased by a bit for boys and decreased for the girls.  Boys succeeded in buying alcohol 2/20 times (10%) and girls succeeded 9/26 times (> 35%). 
    • This shows that the problem is worse for girls since they often look much older than they actually are.
  • The problematic shops are eager to continue to work with the campaign.
  • The Sales staff gave positive feedback about the campaign as it is easy to forget to ask for ID during the rush hours.  “The campaign is great as it emotionally reminds me how important is for us to make sure that the buyer is of age”.
  • In overall the health sector approves that the minors drink less than some years ago, but the problem still exists.
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