‘Drink less’ cam­paign... by booze PR firm

Daily Mail - - News - By So­phie Bor­land Health Cor­re­spon­dent

THE coun­try’s of­fi­cial Dry Jan­uary cam­paign is be­ing run by a PR firm that re­ceives mil­lions from the drinks in­dus­try.

Freuds is be­ing paid thou­sands of pounds of tax­pay­ers’ money to mar­ket the drive urg­ing drinkers to give up al­co­hol next month to give their liv­ers a rest af­ter Christ­mas.

But the firm also over­sees ad­ver­tis­ing for Di­a­geo, the drinks gi­ant be­hind brands in­clud­ing Guin­ness, Bai­leys and Smirnoff vodka. Freuds also runs PR for the Govern­ment’s anti-obe­sity drive Change4Life – while do­ing ad­ver­tis­ing for Mars, KFC and Pepsi.

Pub­lic Health Eng­land, the quango re­spon­si­ble, would not say how much it had paid the firm for ei­ther cam­paign. But ac­counts show the to­tal is about £90,000 a month, just over £1mil­lion a year. Katherine Brown, of the In­sti­tute of Al­co­hol Stud­ies, said: ‘Re­ly­ing on or­gan­i­sa­tions who re­ceive funds from al­co­hol com­pa­nies to of­fer up ad­vice on how to re­duce drink­ing is like putting a fox in charge of a hen­house.’

Pub­lic Health Eng­land said it worked closely with Freuds to ‘max­imise num­bers sign­ing up to ab­stain from drink­ing for a month’, and re­tained ‘com­plete con­trol’.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.