F-H to aid InBev ahead of Govt safe drinking drive

Drinks giant InBev has handed a wide-ranging UK public affairs brief to Fleishman-Hillard.

Pauley: F-H associate director leads account
Pauley: F-H associate director leads account

InBev has called in the agency as the Government steps up its efforts to promote sensible drinking.

F-H will provide strategic public affairs and issues management support to the brewer, whose brands include Stella Artois, Castlemaine XXXX, Boddingtons and Hoegarden.

It is the first time that InBev has hired a PA firm on a retainer, having previously carried out lobbying work in-house.

The Government estimates that more than 7.1 million English people are ‘hazardous or harmful’ drinkers.

The Government’s new alcohol strategy, published in June, stated ministers’ intention to change the commonly held view that is acceptable to get drunk. It also outlined plans for a public consultation on alcohol pricing and promotion.

Meanwhile, by the end of 2008, the Government expects all alcoholic drinks labels to include alcohol-unit information.

The  labelling  information will be supported by a  major cross-Government campaign on alcohol from 2008, a large part of which will focus on raising unit awareness.

In addition, the Government is encouraging the ­alcohol industry to include sensible drinking information for pregnant women on labels.

The UK InBev account will be led by F-H associate director Oliver Pauley. F-H is also retained by InBev in Brussels.

Earlier this year, InBev appointed James Villeneuve as its head of global comms. Villeneuve, who is based in Brussels, was previously VP of corporate comms at Canadian brewer Labatt.

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