JOHNNIE WALKER® Pledges a Million Kilometres of Safe Rides Home Around the World to Reinforce Responsible Drinking Message

Johnnie Walker. Celebrating Life, Every Day, Everywhere. Responsibly.

JOHNNIE WALKER – in partnership with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Sergio Perez and two-time world drivers’ champion Mika Hakkinen – today launched a global free ride home programme as part of its Join the Pact Responsible Drinking Campaign. JOHNNIE WALKER has always placed responsible drinking at the heart of its eight-year partnership with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. As a result of the partnership more than one million consumers around the world have already signed a pledge never to drink and drive. The new safe rides home programme seeks to attract an additional one million personal commitments.

In 2005 JOHNNIE WALKER entered a partnering agreement with the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team.

Johnnie Walker Join the Pact ambassadors - from left - Olli Pettigrew, Rosalyn Lee, Sergio Perez, Mika Hakkinen, Thanh Hang and Mario Lawalata

Johnnie Walker Join the Pact ambassadors – from left – Olli Pettigrew, Rosalyn Lee, Sergio Perez, Mika Hakkinen, Thanh Hang and Mario Lawalata

Today JOHNNIE WALKER is recognized as an icon of personal progress, and as an international, high-status, sophisticated and iconic brand. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes closely match these characteristics and provide a unique and exciting platform for engaging with today’s consumer.

Diageo, parent company of JOHNNIE WALKER, is committed to promoting responsible drinking, and responsible drinking is at the heart of our sponsorship of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. The issues of responsibility and choice are critical to the debates on alcohol. Through its pioneering sponsorship, and with Mika Hakkinen as the Global Responsible Drinking Ambassador, JOHNNIE WALKER tackles these issues directly. The JOHNNIE WALKER relationship with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and Mika Hakkinen demonstrates that alcoholic beverage companies can effectively promote responsible drinking and change consumer attitudes to over-consumption and drinking and driving.

In advance of the 2013 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX, the JOHNNIE WALKER brand announced its ambition to gather a further one million pledges to never drink and drive by inviting consumers around the world to use the hashtag #ImNOTdriving on social media. To honour the one million commitments, JOHNNIE WALKER will give away globally one million kilometers of safe rides home – equivalent to travelling around the world’s equator 25 times. The programme begins in Singapore this week.

This weekend in Singapore, JOHNNIE WALKER will kick off the campaign in partnership with SMRT Corporation Ltd (SMRT) – Singapore’s mass transit provider – to give away 10,000 kms of safe rides home and private drive home by Mika Hakkinen. To find out more visit: http://www.facebook.com/JohnnieWalkerSingapore

During his time as the JOHNNIE WALKER Global Responsible Drinking Ambassador, Mika Hakkinen has visited more than 30 countries meeting key stakeholders and consumers and reaching millions of people with responsible drinking messages.

He said: “I am passionate about encouraging responsible drinking and I’ve been around the world with JOHNNIE WALKER to spread the message. At Singapore I’m looking forward to being the ‘designated driver’ at the Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge event

Johnnie Walker Join the Pact launch at Clarke Quay

Johnnie Walker Join the Pact launch at Clarke Quay

as well as to meeting race fans and seeing more of this beautiful city.”

Gavin Pike, Global Brand Director, JOHNNIE WALKER, said: “Our partnership with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has given us a strong platform from which to talk about responsible drinking. We are reinforcing our commitment to this cause through one of our most ambitious responsible drinking campaigns to date and I encourage race fans everywhere to Join the Pact by pledging their personal commitment to not drink and drive by using #ImNOTdriving this weekend.

JOHNNIE WALKER is dedicated to personal progress, it is what the brand personifies, and we believe that responsible drinking is part of that progress. Launching this campaign globally shows our commitment to encouraging responsible drinking through setting world-class standards in responsible marketing and by promoting the message with our racing program.” He adds

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Sergio Perez commented: “I am very excited to join Mika and Jenson Button as one of the global responsible drinking ambassadors for JOHNNIE WALKER. Responsible drinking is a very important issue and, as a driver with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, I feel that it’s my responsibility to use my position to reinforce this message to our fans around the world. I love the idea of using a simple hashtag to make your pledge to never drink and drive – it means that you have no excuse not to do it.”

JOHNNIE WALKER is the world’s number one Blended Scotch Whisky brand, enjoyed by people in more than 180 countries around the world. Since the time of founder, John Walker, it has been closely associated with the concept of progress. A combination of consumer insight, determination and commercial astuteness enabled three pioneering generations of the Walker family to grow the small grocery store founded in 1820 into an international whisky business selling stylish, authentic, iconic brands.

Diageo is the world’s leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JepsilonB and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Ciroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, with its products sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people and its brands, visit http://www.diageo.com. For Diageo’s global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit http://www.DRINKiQ.com.