Diageo to sponsor free New Year's Eve travel for three years

Diageo: activity fronted by Lewis Hamilton
Diageo: activity fronted by Lewis Hamilton

Drinks company Diageo has signed a three-year deal to sponsor free travel on London transport on New Year's Eve, with a focus on responsible drinking messages.

The sponsorship deal, launched today by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, will be promoted across tubes and buses from 9 December to New Year's Eve.

In addition to the responsible drinking ads, tube travellers at selected central London stations will receive top tips and free bottles of water on some of the busiest party nights of the year as part of Diageo’s activity.

Londoners will benefit from free travel on services from 23:45 on New Year’s Eve until 04:30 on New Year’s Day. A number of celebrations will be taking place across the capital including the fireworks display on the South Bank organised by the Mayor of London.

Launching the sponsorship, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton said: "Through my work with Diageo on Johnnie Walker for the ‘Join the Pact’ campaign I have been part of many responsible drinking initiatives and I hope today serves as a timely reminder to people in London to have fun but be responsible."

Andrew Cowan, country director for Diageo GB, added: "Responsible drinking is at the heart of everything we do and is never more important during the festive season. Getting home safely is often the final stage of a great night out but it is just one part which is why we are using our sponsorship of free travel this New Year to remind people to drink responsibly."

TfL has been providing free travel for partygoers on New Year’s Eve since 2001.

Last year’s sponsorship of the free travel by online loans Wonga.com was mired in controversy as critics claimed it encouraged people to spend beyond their means over Christmas.

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