Announcer Gofar Hilman and Diageo Indonesia marketing manager for whiskey portfolio Dannies Hendrato at the Johnnie Walker 200th Anniversary press conference in Jakarta on Dec. 3, 2020. (Photo Courtesy of Diageo)

Diageo’s Responsible Drinking Campaigns in Full Swing as Alcohol Ban Haunts

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

DECEMBER 04, 2020

Jakarta. British alcoholic beverage company Diageo focuses on responsible drinking campaigns while the House of Representatives weighs in on deliberating the alcohol ban.

Lawmakers from the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) and two Islamic parties -- namely the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and United Development Party (PPP) -- had recently proposed to restart the five-year old discussion on the anti-alcohol bill.

According to the draft uploaded on the House's official website, the alcoholic drinks in question are those with an ethanol content from 1 to 55 percent. Traditional alcoholic drinks and its concoctions would also be prohibited.

Those caught producing, selling or distributing can face imprisonment of three months to ten years or a fine from Rp 200 million ($14,194) to Rp 1 billion. Whereas the sanction for alcohol consumption is imprisonment ranging from three months to two years or a fine from Rp 10 million to Rp 50 million.

Exceptions are given for traditions, religious rituals, tourists, pharmacies, as well as locations permitted by the laws and regulations, the draft said.

The House's Legislation Body last held a meeting on the draft on Nov. 17. Since then, the bill still remains in the harmonization phase. If ever passed into law, the ban would deal a blow to the alcohol industry. 

And for the meantime, Diageo is in full swing with their responsible drinking campaign.

"We always try to give the best to society by encouraging people to drink in moderation. We have the 'Tunggu 21' (or 'wait until you are 21') campaign to promote the legal drinking age compliance. We have held campaigns at schools on responsible drinking," Diageo Indonesia's marketing manager for whiskey portfolio Dannies Hendrato told the Jakarta Globe at an online conference on Thursday.

"Other campaigns include drunk-driving prevention. At Diageo, we also strive toward sustainability," Dannies said.

Another hurdle the alcohol industry is facing is the Covid-19 pandemic. The virus outbreak has closed down hotels and bars who are the main businesses serving alcohol. Thus, the company is looking after these pandemic-affected businesses, according to Diageo’s whiskey outreach head Nicholas Morgan.

"Because once we come out of the pandemic, [these businesses] will be important to us and the industry as a whole to recover," Nicholas said.

"We are also trying to adapt to new circumstances by thinking about the people drinking at home, new occasions and the cocktails at home. So we put a lot of effort into marketing to reach the consumers at where they are now," he said. 

Diageo's scotch whiskey brand, Johnnie Walker, recently celebrated their 200th anniversary. To celebrate the long stride, the company rolled out limited edition designs for their whiskies -- Johnnie Walker Black Label, Red Label and Gold Label Reserve. 

They also introduced super premium limited edition bottles -- namely the Johnnie Walker Blue Label 200th Anniversary Limited Edition Design, Johnnie Walker Blue Label Legendary Eight Limited Edition Whiskey, and John Walker and Sons Celebratory Blend Limited Edition Scotch Whiskey.

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