Alcohol-related death & disability ranks in world order with measles, tuberculosis and malaria

Alcohol causes three to four per cent of global death and
disability putting it on a level with measles, tuberculosis and malaria
and is five times more severe than illegal drugs in terms of impact on
global health.

These facts will be placed today before a round table
conference organised by the Institute of Alcohol Studies in London with
representatives drawn from the new emerging alcohol markets of Asia,
Africa and Eastern Europe.

“The world’s largest alcohol companies are aggressively
promoting their product to the poor, the young and the addicted and
encouraging them to drink more”, David Jernigan, the author of a two
year study entitled “Thirsting for Markets: The Global Impact of
Corporate Alcohol” will tell the conference. “What we have is a small
club of companies that have divided up the world to minimise competition
and maximise profits”. Stagnant sales in the West have caused the
industry to market aggressively in Asia and Africa where Jernigan shows
how alcohol companies use advertising methods which could not be allowed
in Britain.

In Malaysia “Lick, Shoot and Suck,” is the theme of a Cuervo
tequila promotion – a Grand Metropolitan brand – “lick salt from a
woman’s breast, take a shot of tequila and then suck a lime from her
mouth”.

Benedictine D.O.M. liqueur markets itself as a tonic for
mothers. Guinness sponsors an incentive scheme rewarding hostesses in
private clubs for promoting cognac consumption to their business
clients.

In Zimbabwe Grand Met’s affiliate sells “Robert E Lee” brandy
with ads featuring the flag of the US confederacy – defenders of black
slavery for an overwhelmingly black African market!

The top ten global brewers and top ten distillers have
combined sales of £125 billion -more than the gross domestic products of
all but the world’s 21 richest countries.

Jernigan believes that “companies with these resources can
afford to be part of the solution, not just the problem and should not
be leaving the developing world thirsting for action.”

Jernigan will make a series of recommendations for global
alcohol companies; governments in the developing and developed world and
international and non-organisations.

Note:

David Jernigan will be available for interview at lAS, 12
Caxton Street London SW1 H OQS. Telephone: 020 7222 4001 on Thursday,
29th May 1997 from 1 p.m.

The report “Thirsting for Markets: The Global Impact of
Corporate Alcohol”, published by the The Marin Institute, 24 Belvedere
Street, San Rafael, California, CA 94901 USA price £25.00.