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Promoting alcohol responsibility

In many different cultures around the world, alcohol has long played an important part in social life and community celebrations. Alcoholic beverages, consumed responsibly, can make a positive contribution to the quality of life for those who choose to consume them. As a practical matter, however, a small minority of individuals are at risk and should abstain. In recognition of the need to promote alcohol responsibility, we have reviewed our group-wide alcohol policy, and in May 2004 issued a revised policy setting clear standards that all group companies must meet or exceed. We have also adopted a new Code of Commercial Communication to ensure a consistent worldwide approach.

Our approach to social responsibility in alcohol has three elements:

  • To promote responsibility in the use of beverage alcohol, as part of a healthy lifestyle, while at the same time endeavouring to prevent alcohol misuse and abuse
  • In our commercial communications, to promote our own brands among those who have made the decision to consume alcohol beverages
  • To ensure that the commitment to responsibility remains seamless across the company, while at the same time acknowledging cultural differences and differences in approach dependent on the nature of the company’s investment in a particular country.

In addition to our own activities, we also play an active role alongside others in our industry, through bodies such as the International Center for Alcohol Policies, to help inform public debate.

Challenge has been made to SABMiller’s commitment in this area through class action litigation recently filed in the US alleging the illegal marketing of Miller products to underage consumers. We believe that, if required to do so, SABMiller and Miller will be successful in demonstrating that they have acted properly and responsibly.

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