Setting the standards for responsible drinking

We are committed to hosting responsibly – creating advertising and promotional campaigns that encourage responsible behaviour and foster inclusion with safer social places.

We have an important role to play in reminding people about drinking alcohol in moderation. Our responsible hosting strategy sets the standards for what we believe is acceptable by encouraging responsible behaviour through advertising, partnerships and collaborations. 

“Making, selling and advertising alcoholic beverages is our daily business. And this daily business comes with a responsibility of making sure we do right every time, every day,” says Paula Eriksson, Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Communications. “It is about having high standards for advertising, setting norms around what is acceptable, and not. We need to have the checks and balances in place that ensure that we will always live up to our responsibilities.”

Our advertising adopts high standards by not associating products with hazardous activities, such as driving fast cars or implying that people can become more popular or successful by drinking or offering our brands. We also proactively encourage responsible behaviour by dialling up the conversation around topical issues, particularly with younger generations such as Gen Z. In recent years, we have run several successful campaigns playing on a “hashtag responsibly” phrase, including #SexResponsibly #LoveResponsibly and #MixResponsibly for Absolut Vodka.

Consumers have the right to information about our products and last year, we introduced a pioneering QR code digital label system to inform consumers about our products and responsible drinking. Our aim is for every bottle across our range to have the code that once scanned, directs consumers to a web page where they will be able to find information including ingredients, health and local responsible drinking guidelines – all in their own language. We aimed to have QR codes on all bottles across the brand range in all markets by 2024 and we are well on our way, with 98 per cent covered.

Paula Eriksson
The barcode on the Absolut Vodka bottle

Making, selling and advertising alcoholic beverages is our daily business. And this daily business comes with a responsibility of making sure we do right every time, every day.

­Paula Eriksson, Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Communications

Building safer social environments

Responsible hosting goes further than drinking responsibly; for us, it is also about inclusion and safety. We recognise that social venues can be ‘safe spaces’ where people can be themselves and in 2023, we launched the Absolut Ally programme in the US to create safer and more inclusive spaces in bars and restaurants. 

This initiative is a natural extension of our long-standing commitment to supporting the LGBTQIA+ community, having been an ally since the early 1980s. Many people do not feel empowered to intervene when they see or hear discriminatory acts – as bystanders, they think that someone else will deal with it, or they think their actions will make the situation worse. The core programme provides monetary grants to community centres, so they can remain key support centres for the people they serve. In addition, Absolut Ally is providing training and education programs to show how anyone, LGBTQIA+ identified or otherwise, can create safe and inclusive spaces.

The Ally initiative also made its way to India earlier in the year by way of a powerful digital and social media campaign to coincide with Pride celebrations, using leading voices from the community to help educate and build greater allyship. “The response to our campaign in India was highly encouraging and positive. It is seen as an educational series but presented in an uplifting and non-intimidating manner,” says Tad Greenough.

Tad Greenough

Absolut has always been a brand that celebrates unique voices, fosters human connection, and addresses the issues that matter most to the people we serve. The Absolut Ally program does this meaningfully, by creating spaces where everyone feels welcome – and safe.

Tad Greenough, Chief creative officer and Chair, D&I Committee Tomorrowland
Be an #AbsolutAlly