David Gates the head of Diageo has hit out at calls to ban alcohol advertising in Formula One in the same way that tobacco was banned from the sport during the mid 2000's. Mr Gates has stated that Johnnie Walker, who are a primary sponsor of the McLaren Formula One team are only interested in promoting responsible drinking campaigns.
Mr Gates' comments come in the wake of calls by the European Alcohol Policy Alliance for FIA president Jean Todt to step in and ban alcohol sponsorship in Formula One. On Thursday, McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen were in Edinburgh to promote the 'Join The Pact' drink responsibly campaign.
At the event it was announced that 1.5 million have signed up to the 'Join The Pact' campaign.and Mr Gates has stated that Diageo have set an ambitious target of getting five million people to sign up to the campaign.
Mr Gates also stated that the response to events such as the one in Scotland on Thursday has been fantastic and that Jenson Button, Kevin Magnussen and Mika Hakkinen who are all ambassadors for the responsible drinking campaign as the trio have caught the attention of the public and that they will be listened to by the demographic that the campaign is targeting.
Formula One also has the message of 'Bernie Says Think Before You Drive' message around the world at each venue that the sport goes to.
Formula One is the perfect platform for the 'Join The Pact' campaign as the sport has a huge global following and has a huge youth fan-base which is exactly who the campaign is aimed at.
© Ben Johnston 2014