Diageo describes DrinkIQ.com as a 'global resource designed to fight alcohol misuse and help individuals make responsible choices about drinking or not drinking'. A key feature of the site, which will run in tandem with the industry's Drinkaware campaign, is a 'Responsibility Channel', an online community where users can post links to content they have found effective in addressing alcohol-related issues.
The site's launch comes three months after SABMiller rolled out TalkingAlcohol.com which states similar aims. Alcohol Concern chief executive Don Shenker has expressed reservations about such sites. 'We can't allow these initiatives to cloud the debate around responsible promotion and sales', he said. 'I'm sure the government would view this with a degree of cynicism.'
Confectioners have rolled out similar responsibility sites, such as BeTreatwise.com, a joint initiative between Mars, Cadbury and Leaf UK. They, too, have attracted a cynical response. 'My view is that it has been produced to appeal to the Department of Health rather than as a useful tool for the public,' said Richard Watts, co-ordinator for Sustain's Children's Food Campaign.
A spokesman for Mars UK said: 'We did not launch Be Treatwise as a point-of-purchase tool, but to support the GDA information on confectionery packaging and to help explain this concept.'
Rebecca Rodi, social responsibility manager for Diageo GB, said it was 'ridiculous' to suggest DrinkIQ was a reaction to the threat of regulation.