Underage drinkingWebsites and tools aimed at parents
“Family Talk About Drinking UK” is a program supported by AB InBev in the UK that supports parents seeking to educate their children about responsible drinking. The UK Facebook page for Family Talk – www.facebook.com/FamilyTalkUK – includes a series of videos focusing on fathers. Results of a national survey of 2000 fathers to establish when they first discussed the subject of alcohol with their children were used for regional media outlets, to drive awareness of the Family Talk UK Facebook page. By the end of 2012 there were 2674 ‘likes’ on the page, the social media campaign on Facebook had reached over 5 million adults and the media coverage had been seen by an estimated 1.4 million consumers.
A new partnership between Family Talk UK – AB InBev’s online platform developed with the Mumsnet community where parents can share experiences and advice about discussing alcohol with their children – and the Alcohol Education Trust (AET) was launched in 2013. The partnership combines Family Talk UK’s online reach, with the AET’s expertise and relationships with parents via secondary schools to reach 100,000 parents over three years as part of AB InBev’s commitment to promoting responsible drinking. The partnership has also enabled the AET to appoint a new training co-ordinator to work with parents in the North East of England.
AB InBev used its Global Be(er) Responsible Day (GBRD) in Belgium in 2012 to launch a new website – www.familytalkonline.be – to help prevent underage drinking by encouraging open, honest communication between parents and children about drinking and a letter was sent to all employees highlighting the Family Talk program andthe Fonds Verhelst. The German version of the website reached around 3000 people in 2012, whilst a weblog – www.familytalkonline.nl – and Facebook page were also launched in the Netherlands.
In France in July 2013, Entreprise & Prévention, the French Social Aspects Organisation funded by companies including French brewers, communicated to parents through the www.alcooletparents.com web tool developed by Professor David Bailly, a child psychiatrist. It is a website dedicated to parents about the risks of drinking by teenagers. It aims to help parents avoid potential risk situations related to alcohol consumption in their teenagers, offering information and advice on how to broach the subject of alcohol with young people. The website is linked to on the “ESPACE” project’s website and was developed as part of the project. Between July 2009 and December 2014 the website received 150,000 visits. Since then there have been approximately 2,390 visits every month on average.
“Za Odgovorno Odrastanje Mladih”, (“For Responsible Youth”) is an initiative of Karlovacka pivovara in Croatia which aims at reducing underage drinking. This targets the families of minors, mothers in particular, instead of directly targeting teenagers. This was based on the premise that family relations and family communication is a relevant factor in the future behaviour of youth. It was undertaken in partnership with a women’s web portal www.žena.hr, where the company launched a dedicated micro site http://zena.hr/za-odgovorno-odrastanje-mladih. This provides information about underage drinking including: factors influencing teenage alcohol use; the role of a functional family; how to talk to your child when they are going out; how to establish borders; the responsibility of adults etc. Besides educational articles on the topics mentioned above, the micro site provides on-line counselling with experts providing advice for families having a real problem concerning alcohol. The project was supported by well-known TV host Mrs Daniela Trbović who is also a mother of a teenager. In 2014, the second phase of the project involved the organisation of a round table and workshop for employees who are parents.
Results of an online survey on www.žena.hr (mainly mothers) showed that 96% of respondents considered the information and texts on the microsite interesting and useful, 90% found the exchange of information with others on the forum useful and 100% thought the answer they received from the psychologist was useful. Amongst parents, 70% said they had spoken to their child about alcohol consumption whilst 79% mentioned that they had never seen their child under the influence. When respondents were asked if they thought minors must not consume alcohol, 72% of the respondents said they agreed, 11% said they disagreed and 17% indicated that they were not sure. Finally, 96% of the respondents said that they would recommend the micro site to others.