Underage drinking

Responsible serving and ID checking

“Razgovarajmo s mladima o opasnostima zloupotrebe alkohola” (“Let’s talk with minors about the dangers of alcohol abuse”) is a campaign launched in 2014 of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce Association of Beer, Malt and Hop Producers to raise awareness, among all consumer groups, about the age limit for alcohol consumption permitted in accordance with Croatian law.

The campaign is composed of two parts, with the first phase including putting up posters on Tisak kiosks and retail outlets, and sales staff wearing badges that communicate the message of prohibited sale of alcohol to minors. The second phase included the design of a brochure in collaboration with experts from the Institute of Public Health. The booklet is intended as a tool for teachers when they teach about the abuse of excessive alcohol consumption. Additionally, a number of workshops and seminars for teachers were planned.

This is the first responsible drinking campaign in Croatia that brought together the Croatian Association of Beer, Malt and Hop Producers and the Croatian Ministry of Health, to raise awareness of the importance of respecting legal purchasing ages. Campaign activities included: a TV commercial, billboard and city lights campaign; posters, stickers and badges with the campaign slogan “Turn on conscience – sometimes you need to say no to children”; and sales staff of partners were educated about campaign objectives. In addition, a press conference and round table took place that included experts from different areas and state institutions as guest speakers.

Out of 800 respondents who participated in the campaign post-evaluation research, 75% of them claimed to have seen the campaign, with most respondents believing the campaign to be memorable, convincing and original. 64% of respondents said that the campaign made them think about the sale of alcohol to minors, whilst over 95% of respondents who saw the advertising considered that such a campaign was necessary and that more such campaigns should take place. The campaign was extremely successful as it achieved all of the goals set and also laid the foundations for future collaboration with different stakeholders. In addition to the Ministry of Health, other collaborators were the Horeca Guild and the Association of Retailers of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce. In February 2014, in the 7th Grand Prix competition of the Croatian Association for Public Affairs, the campaign reached the final round and received an award for corporate social responsibility.

Also in Croatia, as a collaboration between Karlovacka Pivovara and retailers “Jas am 18+” helped HoReCa/waiters avoid selling beer to minors on traditional beer festival “Beer Days”. Special wist bands which could not be removed were printed. They contained the messages ”I am 18+” and ”Enjoy Karlovcko Responsibly”. These bracelets were given only to consumers who showed their identity card to hostesses and thus proved that they were of legal drinking age. Bar owners who participate on “Beer Days” were also targeted. At a special meeting, the concepts of responsible consumption and communication were presented to them. They were asked to support this activity and to inform their waiters about the activity and the purpose of the wist bands. A partnership with the most influential local media (radio and on-line) ensured that the message was spread amongst the visitors of “Beer Days”. In 2014 the activity continued to be sponsored by the Karlovacko brand at Dani piva Karlovac (beer festival) and Karlovacko Korner (football platform). Around 3,000 wist bands were given out during the 10 Beer Days and 300 table tents were placed on the tables in the bars. Bar owners gave positive feedback that the wist band helped their waiters to be more effective because they did not have to ask for identity from young looking consumers if they had a wist band.

responsible drinking campaign  ''I am 18+

Czech Republic

“Stay Cool” (“Člověče nezlob se”) started in 2013 and is a programme of the Czech Beer and Malt Association, Cesky Svaz Pivovaru a Sladoven, run in cooperation with COOP and latterly Kaufland stores, with a clear objective to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors by providing training and practical help to staff in retail outlets. Also in the Czech Republic, Respect 18 is a two part program started in 2013 by Plzensky Prazdroj to discourage underage consumption – a communication campaign and an education campaign. The communication campaign is focussed on tackling the existing tolerance of underage drinking among adults, whilst the education campaign targets on and off-trade alcohol sellers and seeks to strengthen understanding, give advice and help with managing situations within their establishments. Activities included: A press conference with the Mayor of Pilsen and the partners of the program; An outdoor campaign with posters on 30 public transport stations, 20 trams and 270 posters inside public transport; A new web page www.respectuj18.cz; and media communication that included 18 articles in print and digital media, one piece of news in the local radio and one report on regional TV. The campaign was based on testimonials from three real people – a bartender, a shopkeeper and a family. In August 2013 an exhibition was organised with the support of 8 well-known people, who shared their views on the issue of underage drinking. By 2015, 622 influencers and 94,291 other adults had been engaged.



An online responsible server training for servers and sellers of alcohol beverages was also launched in 2013 on the business-to-business websites of AB InBev in the UK, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and France. This training provides servers and sellers of alcohol beverages with information on subjects including the legal purchasing age, the effects of alcohol and how to act in challenging situations, and provides certificates after successful completion.

servers and sellers of alcohol beverages  servers and sellers of alcohol beverages  servers and sellers of alcohol beverages

In Belgium, since September 2013 a responsible serving module has also been included in AB InBev’s ‘Perfect Server’ bar staff training schemes. In 2014, as part of its annual local company-wide initiative to celebrate alcohol responsibility initiatives, this day focused on ID checks and responsible serving training. The ID Check Campaign was officially launched by Philippe Vandeuren, Kenny Thompson (football player) and a council member of the city of Leuven. Employees participated in “Feet on the Street” in Brussels, Leuven and Liege, and trained bartenders and staff on how to serve beer responsibly with the new online tool: Responsible Server training.

In The Netherlands, serving training is also provided by AB InBev for bar staff of clubs of the Jupiler League and selected clubs who participate in the Eredivisie. As well as online training, offline (live) training was also provided by the sales team when they visited the different points of contact.

In Belgium and in the Netherlands third party agencies also supported the initiative to help reach the servers and sellers with the training. Between September 2013 and December 2014, 11,204 people were targeted. AB InBev also has a commitment since 2013 to address responsible marketing and sales through the distribution chain by including clauses in new/renewed contracts to promote the distribution of ID-checking education materials to sales outlets (on and off trade), distribute these materials through AB InBev’s own sales representatives across Europe and communicate an online responsible serving module on all B2B websites where on-trade and retail businesses purchase products.


In September 2015, the Carlsberg Group participated in the first Global Beer Responsibility Day (GBRD), a worldwide initiative to highlight collaborative efforts to promote responsible beer consumption and address issues around alcohol misuse, in partnership with other global brewers, local brewers and beer associations. GBRD is the largest ever initiative of its kind in the brewing industry’s history. More than 100,000 employees in 62 countries were involved in executing ID checking programmes at around 650,000 retail points, providing advice and training for servers and sellers, and conducting targeted education campaigns that reached in excess of 8,000,000 people.


Supported by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), PASS is the national proof of age accreditation scheme in the UK. Endorsed by the Home Office, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), the Security Industry Authority (SIA), the Trading Standards Institute (TSI), Police Scotland and the Scottish Government, PASS delivers a common standard for proof of age cards through its easily recognised logo, which is backed by a robust audit and accreditation process to help protect retailers of age restricted goods, and their employees, against being taken in by fake cards. It is a legitimate form of ID and a less costly alternative to driving licences and passports for young people. During 2014 all proof of age schemes accredited to carry the PASS hologram moved to a standard PASS design for cards issued to those aged 18 and over, improving the recognition and acceptance of the PASS accredited card across the UK.

Also in the UK, in 2013 all 1,200 lessees of the Heineken company’s Star Pubs & Bars pub business were provided with a guide – “Leading a Vibrant Pub Industry Together: responsible retailing in your outlet” and “Challenge 25/Challenge 21” posters to display in their outlets. The guide included: A call to action for all lessees to think about how they might run a more responsible outlet; Practical hints and tips on how to promote moderate consumption (for example through smaller serve sizes and lower ABV products); Portman Group guidance on responsible promotions in the trade; and, Information about how to combat underage drinking. Heineken has also given longstanding support for Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAPS) whose aim is to reduce underage drinking by bringing together alcohol retailers and local stakeholders, such as Trading Standards, police, local authority licensing teams, schools and health networks. Interventions focus on: education of young people about the health and legal implications of underage consumption; training and mentoring for retailers in off- and on-licensed premises; enforcement through mystery shopping exercises and police and Trading Standards patrols; and working with local media to celebrate success. In April 2013, a new website was launched including a number of new features with case studies and an evaluation “toolkit” for use by CAP areas. By June 2014, there were over 55 operational CAP schemes across the UK. Future CAP development is being proactively encouraged in areas with high harms particularly in the North East and North West of England, Scotland and Wales. In February 2014 the UK Government announced the names of twenty areas across England & Wales which had been set up as Local Alcohol Action Areas (LAAAs) to tackle alcohol harms and/or promote diverse night time economies. The announcement of the LAAAs has given fresh impetus to new CAP development and discussions about development of CAPs in the LAAAs is progressing well


The Polish Brewers’ campaign “Appearances can be deceptive, ID not” continued in Poland in 2012 with support from the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Economy and the National Police. Nearly 500 local authorities (20 percent of all Polish communes and two thirds more than in 2011) joined the campaign to prevent sales of alcohol to minors and raise awareness of the underage drinking problem amongst retailers, parents and teachers. An estimated 30 thousand points of sale, half a million parents, 12 thousand teachers and 60 thousand local police officers received the education packs, whilst there were almost 700 media hits. The most active communes received an award during a ceremony at the Ministry of Justice.

Also in Poland, Heineken Grupo Zywiec, has a program to ensure responsible consumption and that beer sales only be made to persons above 18 years of age. The activity is carried out at all the largest events organised and sponsored by the company, such as Birofilia; Open’er Festival; Meskie Granie (Zywiec); Juwenalia; and the Endless Night Party (Desperados) and on Specjal beer brand events. It involves on the spot training for bartenders before each event, including information about the Act of 26 October 1982 on Upbringing in Sobriety and Counteracting Alcoholism; the need to check ID if there is any doubt about age; issuing wrist bands to identify consumers who are over 18; and activities during the event such as 18+ stands at each tap installation with notices indicating that it is illegal to sell alcohol to minors. The artists and media are briefed about the activity. In the second half of 2014 and in 2015 the initiative was expanded to all Warka Pubs across the country, with all pub owners, managers and bartenders being trained. In all pubs 18+ bracelets were distributed and “18+” placards on show.

Additionally, in some Warka Pubs meetings with experts provided an opportunity to discuss a responsible approach to life, health and alcohol. The famous Polish wrestler, Andrzej Supron, had many conversations with beer lovers gathered in pubs, about the responsibility of being a sporting celebrity, accompanied by two other experts: a dietician and a physiologist. On the website www.pijzglowa.pl, information about responsible drinking is provided. It also includes a blood alcohol content calculator where you can discover how a drive home after a given amount and type of drinks looks like.

pijzglowa.pl  pijzglowa.pl  pijzglowa.pl  pijzglowa.pl

In 2012 at the 15 biggest events, visited by about 200 thousand people, a total of 20,000 18+ bands were distributed, more than 200 bartenders were trained and 18+ stands were present at each tap installation with notices indicating that it is illegal to sell alcohol to minors. In 2013, 20 events were organised or sponsored by the company, 778 bartenders trained in responsible alcohol serving, 50 posters were put up at a festival sites, 5,400 leaflets were distributed and 23,000 “18+” wist bands were distributed by 30 committed volunteers from all over Poland. In 2014, 250 bartenders were trained in responsible alcohol serving and around 700,000 people reached by the action at 20 events organised by Grupa Zywiec, with around 40,000 wistbands distributed and 30 volunteers engaged in the action during the main events sponsored by Grupa Zywiec: Birofilia Festival 2014 and Open’er Festival.


In the Netherlands an online tool for responsible serving of alcohol was developed by STIVA (the Dutch Social Aspects Organisation (SAO) supported by the drinks trade associations, including the Nederlandse Brouwers), and launched by the Dutch Chamber of Student Convents to help their members know the do’s and dont’s with respect to responsible serving in the bars of student convents. This online tool sums up relevant information and ends with a test of 20 questions with specific examples for student bars. When students pass the test, they receive an IVA-certificate. The Dutch Chamber of Student Convents expected 1,000 of their students to have taken the test at the end of 2012. In reality, double that number (2,000) did.

In 2014, also in the Netherlands, a “tapruiter” (Point of Sale material, mounted on beer tap) was developed by Heineken Nederland for use in sports canteens when the Legal Drinking Age was raised from 16 to 18 starting January 1st 2014. On the back of the “tapruiter” is a dial that can be adjusted by servers daily to show the minimum date of birth for customers. This was developed after independent research had indicated that many volunteer serving staff had trouble with accurately calculating age from the date of birth on IDs.



MEAS, the Social Aspects Organisation funded by Irish drinks producers, including the Irish brewers, supports a program to promote responsible serving and selling of alcohol beverages, organised in partnership with the National hospitality training body, Fáilte Ireland. It is delivered in the form of interactive workshops using “real situations” or case studies to help reinforce skills and encourage discussion among participants and has a strong emphasis on the skills necessary to handle situations such as how to: prevent alcohol sales to under 18s; refuse to serve alcohol to intoxicated customers; handle difficult people; and identify signs of increasing intoxication. It also includes information about: alcohol and its effects on the body; ways to prevent customers becoming intoxicated; alcohol and the law; and co-operation with the authorities, especially An Garda Síochána. The www.serveaware.ie online responsible serving briefing tool was launched in May 2013. To date 1500 event bar staff completed training. Staff were trained in advance of major festivals including; Slane, Oxegen Festival and Galway Races. 716 people also completed the Responsible Serving of Alcohol programme in 2013. The programme is endorsed by Fáilte Ireland.

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