Photos Photiades Group believes it is important for consumers to receive balanced information about the nature and effects of alcohol.
Photos Photiades Group believes that it is very important for young people to be educated about the nature and effects of alcohol. We therefore support initiatives that aim to educate young people about the effects of drinking. Education about the effects of alcohol may be part of the school or college ‘life skills’ curriculum. But it also appears that the best way for parents and other role models to influence the likely drinking behaviour of their children is to set an example, if they drink at all, by drinking responsibly. Some countries set a minimum age below which it is illegal for young people to purchase alcohol beverages. This purchase age usually ranges from 16 to 21 years of age, with the majority of countries setting the minimum purchase age at 18 years. Some countries set no minimum purchase age at all, leaving the issue of alcohol consumption by young people to the guidance of families. No matter what the legal requirements are, our Code of Marketing Practice and Business Conduct set out our commitment to ensuring that our marketing and advertising activities must not be targeted at young people below the legal purchase age, or where no limit is set, below the age of 18.
Alcohol and Health
Photos Photiades Group believes it is important for consumers to receive balanced information about the nature and effects of alcohol and the possible benefits and risks to health associated with alcohol consumption. We do not, however, promote alcohol as a medicine, or encourage people to drink for the sake of their health. It is common knowledge that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to medical, psychological and social problems. There is a body of scientific research linking excessive drinking with a number of diseases, and of course, for some people, there may be some health risks associated with drinking at any level. At the same time, however, a belief in the positive health effects of moderate consumption of alcohol has been part of the folklore of many cultures for hundreds if not thousands of years. More recently, many independent researchers have concluded that there is a scientific basis to some of these beliefs. A number of studies have shown that moderate drinking of beer, wine or spirits may result in health benefits for many adults, notably because of a reduced risk of heart disease.
Beer, Wine and Spirits – Different but Equal
Beer, wine and spirits have their own distinctive characteristics. They also have at least one thing in common – they all contain alcohol. Although drink servings vary the world over, in most countries a standard serving of beer, a glass of wine and a measure of spirits contain approximately the same amount of alcohol. There appears to be very little difference between different beverage types in terms of impact on health; if consumed in moderate quantities, beer, wine and spirits appear to convey equal benefits. If consumed excessively or irresponsibly, all alcohol beverages may cause problems for the individual or for the community. Spirits are perceived in some countries as being more ‘harmful’ than beer or wine, because distilled drinks contain a higher percentage of alcohol by volume. In many cases this means that spirits are taxed at much higher rates than beer or wine, and stricter rules are often laid down about the availability of spirits, or about spirits advertising. With significant interests in the beer, wine and spirits sectors, Photos Photiades Group believes that all alcohol beverages should be given equal treatment in respect of taxation and other forms of regulation.
Drinking and Driving
It is common knowledge that excessive consumption of alcohol impairs driving ability and may lead to traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities. Photos Photiades Group believes that individual responsibility is paramount and that every country should have a legally defined blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit above which drivers will be subject to prosecution. Long-term education initiatives can be a highly effective way of reducing the number of drink-drive accidents. For repeat offenders, education initiatives are not sufficient; tough penalties must be imposed as a deterrent to those who persist in breaking drink-drive laws. Photos Photiades Group has supported many industry-funded drink-drive initiatives around the world and will continue to do so. We believe that all sectors of the drinks industry have a role to play in ensuring that the drink-drive message is communicated effectively. As a major employer in the drinks business, we have an additional responsibility to ensure that our employees are familiar with Company policy on drinking and driving.
Reducing Alcohol Misuse
Whilst most people drink responsibly, misuse of alcohol causes problems for both individual consumers and for society as a whole. The public health community has an obvious role to play in helping governments to develop policies and strategies which aim to promote responsible drinking and reduce the incidence of alcohol misuse. Photos Photiades Group believes that the drinks industry also has an important role to play in support of this effort. We believe that the most effective way of preventing alcohol misuse is through education and building awareness of the effects of alcohol, so that consumers can make responsible decisions about their drinking. Photos Photiades Group is committed to working with the public health community and with others interested in alcohol policy to identify effective ways in which alcohol misuse can be discouraged, whilst not penalising the majority of responsible drinkers. It is for this reason that we support social aspects organisation in many countries, drinks-industry funded bodies which promote responsible drinking and tackle alcohol misuse. We also have a particular responsibility to ensure that our employees understand the effects of alcohol and the risks associated with misuse. All our employees receive a copy of the Group Alcohol Policy, which sets out our position on a wide range of issues.