WHITE PLAINS, NY: Heineken USA has launched a low-key PR effort to let American consumers know it plans to start putting responsible drinking messages on its bottles and cans.
Anti-alcohol groups have criticized the beer industry for ads that promote drinking while at the same time including throw-away lines about responsible drinking.
With its new labels and a new website, www.enjoyheinekenresponsibly.com, Heineken is taking the responsible drinking message "to a new level," said Dan Tearno, VP corporate affairs for Heineken USA. "We're doing it because it's a good thing to do and a right thing to do."
Heineken announced the decision with a press release November 8 but opted not to do more PR, not wanting to seem as if it was trying to pat itself on the back for the move.
"I think this is an issue we should inform on, we shouldn't hype it," said Tearno. "This is something we thought would be right for us."
Heineken's Dutch parent plans to take the effort global and already is getting widespread coverage in Europe for its efforts, Tearno said.
US coverage has been in all forms of media as well, he said, despite the low-key announcement. "The message is getting out to the people we want to reach," he said.
Heineken USA uses Grayling USA's New York office for PR.