There’s been quite a fuss in the media of late about the alcohol industry’s devilish role in hijacking government alcohol policy reform. I’d like to redress the balance, so if you’ll indulge me for just a second, I’d like to tip my hat to my trusted associates, my brothers in-arms stateside who in recent months have created a new alcohol industry organisation, the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking.
They couldn’t have come up with a more grandiose title if they had tried. Well they could have. Word is, there was talk of going with more of an international flavour – the Alliance internationale pour resposible potable, but after a long night of responsible drinking, a few were having a little trouble with the pronunciation, and Moët Hennessy and Pernod Ricard just didn’t have the numbers.
Regardless, I heartily endorse the name…’the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking’. You can see what they have done. In a stroke of genius, they have borrowed from best, the euthanasia experts over at the Centre for Advancing Responsible Killing (CARK). They’d just die if they knew.
IARD is the merging of two great alcohol industry organisations, the Global Alcohol Producers Group (GAPG) and the International Centre for Alcohol Policies (ICAP).
There’s now one less drink club for the boys, but much as I lament its passing, it was a smart move and not before time. With GAPG we had an organisation that called a brewery a brewery and distillery a distillery. It didn’t try and mask its true nature – the Global Alcohol Producers Group – it is right there in the name. Sad to say, but that doesn’t cut it anymore. Not in 2014. If we are serious about encouraging our customers to consume our products more responsibly; with the emphasis subtly but firmly on the word ‘more’, then we have to get smarter, and by smarter I mean less obvious.
I’d also like to congratulate Ann Keeling on her appointment as CEO of IARD. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I thought they’d appoint a man, but by all accounts Ann’s a good sort, and her appointment is really a bit of a coup for IARD.
Coca Cola would have had Buckley’s chance of wooing Keeling, who previously served as the former CEO of the International Diabetes Federation, but IARD must have seemed like a perfect fit. Keeling has done great work with the United Nations Population Fund, so she’ll no doubt be right at home with IARD, which is, after all the United Nations of alcohol companies.
Her old employer, the United Nations Population Fund claim to make a real difference in the lives of millions of people, especially those most vulnerable. Snap! We alcohol industry folk like to think we’ve made a real difference to millions of people too, especially those most vulnerable.
I’ll drink to that.