Diageo’s ‘Stop Out of Control Drinking’ Campaign in Ireland: An Analysis

It has been argued that the alcohol industry uses corporate social responsibility activities to influence policy and undermine public health, and that every opportunity should be taken to scrutinise such activities. This study analyses a ‘responsible drinking’ campaign (“Stop out of Control Drinking”, or SOOCD) sponsored in Ireland by Diageo, one of the world’s largest alcohol companies. The study aims to identify how the campaign and its advisory board members frame and define (i) alcohol-related harms, and their causes, and (ii) possible solutions. The authors conclude that The ‘Stop Out of Control Drinking’ campaign frames alcohol problems and solutions in ways unfavourable to public health, and closely reflects other Diageo Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity, as well as alcohol and tobacco industry strategies more generally. This framing, and in particular the framing of alcohol harms as a behavioural issue, with the implication that consumption should be guided only by self-defined limits, may not have been recognised by all board members. It suggests a need for awareness-raising efforts among the public, third sector and policymakers about alcohol industry strategies.

Citation: Petticrew M, Fitzgerald N, Durand MA, Knai C, Davoren M, Perry I (2016) Diageo’s ‘Stop Out of Control Drinking’ Campaign in Ireland: An Analysis. PLoS ONE 11(9): e0160379. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0160379