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Drinkaware targets parents

Drinkaware is launching a campaign this summer to warn parents against serving their children alcohol at home.

Developed in partnership with creative agency TBWA\London, this initiative marks the latest step by the alcohol education charity to change drinking behaviour patterns among UK consumers.

Explaining this latest choice of target audience, Siobhan McCann, head of campaigns & communication at Drinkaware, said: “Parents are some of the biggest providers of alcohol so we want to encourage parents not to give their children alcohol at home because it can normalise drinking alcohol before the age of 16.”

The focus is likely to prove controversial among those who believe the UK should adopt the opposite, more Continental approach of encouraging children to develop a responsible relationship with wine by drinking it at home as part of a meal with their parents.

McCann acknowledged this as a common argument among parents, but maintained: “The problem is that it doesn’t necessarily happen. The earlier children drink inside the home, the earlier they will drink outside the home.”

Although it is illegal in the UK for anyone under the age of 18 to buy alcoholic drinks, children aged five and over are permitted to drink at home.

In addition to highlighting what Drinkaware argues is the direct effect of allowing children to drink at home, McCann explained that the campaign will seek to raise awareness among parents about the indirect impact of their own drinking behaviour.

“Parents who drink don’t always realise the effect their behaviour has on their children,” she remarked.

This new campaign aimed at parents will supplement Drinkaware’s existing five-year initiative, “Why Let The Good Times Go Bad”, which is targeted at young adults. The charity also plans to unveil a third strand at a later date, which will focus on adults who regularly drink above the recommended guidelines.

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