Skyy gives advice for safe drinking

SAN FRANCISCO: Skyy Spirits last week launched “Advice for Nightlife,” a program intended to educate adults about responsible drinking.

SAN FRANCISCO: Skyy Spirits last week launched “Advice for Nightlife,” a program intended to educate adults about responsible drinking.

Keith Greggor, chief marketing officer at Skyy, said the effort links visitors to Skyy's Web site to a range of independent alcohol organizations such as Yale University, Time, Downyourdrink.org and Health.org.

"Adults make their own choices and the best thing that we can do is educate and inform them," Greggor said, adding that since Skyy's Web site is a leading search result when Internet users enter "vodka" as a search term, the company will not promote the initiative either online or in traditional media.

"It's a hard thing to promote," he said. "You run the risk of being seen to be doing something for your business in terms of your brand and exploiting the situation. We're uncomfortable in taking that direction."

PR & Company, who handles Skyy's corporate business and PR activities for select brands, conducted competitive research,  ran consumer focus groups, edited site content and created messaging and for the campaign.  The agency also arranged for the Haas School of Business, Center for Responsible Business to review the program in relation to other alcohol awareness programs. 

Pat Reilly, president of PR & Company said the agency is also assisting Skyy in publicizing the program to key stakeholders, but that there's really no outreach to the 21 to 34 demo just yet other than putting the Web site's URL on ads. 

Greggor said the effort may not go over well with others in the spirits industry.

"With this campaign we are running the risk of being a little unpopular in the industry by linking to people's websites who don't necessarily agree with where the industry is on the subject of alcohol consumption," Greggor said. "Some sites may have a view of consumption of alcohol that may differ from that of the industry with respect to social usage of it. But the overall aim here is to promote sensible alcohol consumption."

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