EDINBURGH, Scotland, December 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
As part of the JOHNNIE WALKER global responsible drinking programme, Join the Pact, the world's leading Scotch Whisky today said it was giving away 250,000 kilometres of safe rides around the world during the festive season to encourage people not to drink and drive.
In Edinburgh Mika Häkkinen, former Formula 1 driver and JOHNNIE WALKER Global Responsible Drinking Ambassador, came together with 2014 McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 drivers Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen to help launch the campaign which will run in Edinburgh and in over 60 other cities across the globe.
Join the Pact has already gathered commitments from more than 1.4 million people to never drink and drive and in September, JOHNNIE WALKER announced a goal of securing an additional five million personal pledges over the next four years.
During the festive season JOHNNIE WALKER will help people get home safely through a variety of initiatives with local transport providers. In Edinburgh, JOHNNIE WALKER is partnering with Lothian Buses to provide free bus services for revellers returning home from the city's Hogmanay event on New Year's Eve.
Speaking at the launch David Gates, Diageo Global Head of Premium Core Brands, said: "The involvement of JOHNNIE WALKER in Formula 1 through our partnership with McLaren Mercedes has given the brand a credible platform to run a powerful responsible drinking programme that has made real impact on a global scale. This has been ongoing for almost a decade and our recent arrangement with Formula One group to become the Official Whisky of Formula 1 will allow us to expand the programme into new territories.
"Our appeal to Join the Pact to never drink and drive is never more relevant than when millions of people around the world are planning to relax and enjoy the holiday festivities. Through activations of the programme in over 60 cities over the next few weeks, we hope to provide in the region of 250,000 kilometres of safe rides home.
"At Diageo, we take our commitment to the promotion of responsible drinking very seriously. We really hope that everyone joins the Pact and makes that public commitment this festive season."
In a joint message issued from today's event, JOHNNIE WALKER Global Responsible Drinking Ambassador Mika Häkkinen, along with Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen, said: "We each know that driving a Formula 1 car is about staying in control, all of the time. Join the Pact is a commitment to staying in control and putting the safety of yourself, your passengers and other people ahead of everything else. It's a choice that guarantees that everyone can enjoy their festivities and get home safely - we appeal to you to make that choice and Join the Pact to never drink and drive."
During the launch event the three drivers demonstrated their control skills and provided rides in Edinburgh city centre to competition winners, media and special guests in a JOHNNIE WALKER branded Caparo T1 supercar and two McLaren MP4-650S sports cars.
Over the festive season consumers can make their pledge to never drink and drive by visiting http://www.jointhepact.com or by tweeting #GetHomeSafely to @JohnnieWalker_.
 IWSR (2013)
B-Roll footage of the JOHNNIE WALKER Join the Pact announcement and driving spectacular can be downloaded at: https://vimeo.com/album/3159579
Notes to Editors
JOHNNIE WALKER Join the Pact will deliver 250,000 kilometres of safe rides home in more than 60 cities to include:
About Join the Pact
JOHNNIE WALKER places great importance on responsible drinking and tackles this issue through the Join the Pact campaign, with Mika Häkkinen as the Global Responsible Drinking Ambassador. Join the Pact asks consumers everywhere to make a commitment to never drink and drive through signing a pact. Since 2006 Mika has led this call-to-action initiative, which have been activated worldwide, collecting over a million signatures.
Mika has visited over 40 countries on five continents, spoken to countless media, government officials, stakeholders and consumers delivering important messages through unique JOHNNIE WALKER experiences.
About JOHNNIE WALKER
JOHNNIE WALKER is the world's leading Blended Scotch Whisky. Established in Scotland in 1820, JOHNNIE WALKER became one of the first truly global brands, reaching 120 countries within 100 years of its founding. Today the brand is available in over 180 countries, a tribute to the pioneering vision and ambition of the Walker family which have inspired progress and great achievements for almost two centuries.
Big, bold flavour is at the heart of JOHNNIE WALKER. The range comprises unique blends, each with their own distinct character and history, which are the result of almost 200 years of blending heritage: JOHNNIE WALKER RED LABEL, JOHNNIE WALKER BLACK LABEL, JOHNNIE WALKER DOUBLE BLACK, JOHNNIE WALKER GOLD LABEL RESERVE, JOHNNIE WALKER PLATINUM LABEL AND JOHNNIE WALKER BLUE LABEL. In addition, THE JOHNNIE WALKER EXPLORERS' CLUB COLLECTION, a range of blends created for global travellers, is available exclusively in travel retail outlets globally.
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits, beer and wine categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Buchanan's, Windsor and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.
Diageo is a global company, and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO). For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at http://www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo's global responsible drinking resource, http://www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.
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