Why the world’s largest brewer runs no drink driving ad in China

Product marketing can be a double-edged sword. Take beer. China is the world's largest beer market in terms of overall volume, but at 32 litres a year, its annual per capita consumption is a fraction of the 143 litres drunk in the Czech Republic and the 97 litres Germans consume. As such China represents a huge marketing opportunity. But as the beer companies seek to boost sales of their alcoholic beverages, they have a duty of care to uphold.

The world’s largest brewer, AB InBev is arguably taking its responsibilities seriously by promoting responsible drinking. In China, it has engaged with celebrities like the pop stars Eason Chan and Yu Quan to run no drink driving campaigns. It is also working alongside various community organizations to educate against underage drinking, which is becoming a growing problem.

And in another social initiative, the brewery halts beer production every year to package purified drinking water for disaster relief. This was put to good use on June 23 this year after a violent tornado struck Yancheng in Jiangsu province, China. The tornado killed at least 99 people and injured 846 others. On hearing of the disaster, AB InBev organized employee volunteers and sent purified drinking water from the Wuhan brewery to a local charity for distribution to the affected communities.

In Taiwan, Fubon Life also takes its community contributions seriously. It has delineated three main areas of focus: emergency disaster relief, caring for the elderly with dementia, underprivileged children and other minority groups, and the promotion of sports.

Although its disaster relief and support for sports is commendable, Fubon Life’s Guarding Angel programme for the elderly with dementia is perhaps one of its most courageous since this segment of society is hidden from view and neglected. Fubon Life turned its more than 400 offices around the country into Good Neighbour for Dementia Patients locations and offered training to its 25,000 employees to provide support. Fubon also partnered with National Yang Ming University, the leader in geriatric and gerontology in Taiwan, to introduce a three-year sponsorship programme to create the “health risk evaluation module” to detect and prevent geriatric disease, delay the deterioration of physical/mental function, and in turn promote public health.

In another of its social outreach initiatives, Fubon volunteers collect wishes from underprivileged children and then donate cash or items to fulfil those needs. Last year, 9,852 underprivileged children had their wishes fulfilled as employees collected donations of NT$5 million within the company. 1,283 volunteers from the 17 branches of Fubon’s Charity Volunteer Society helped in collecting and delivering the items donated to the schools.

In total in 2015, the company invested NT$230 million and a total of 600,000 employee volunteering hours. This is equivalent to 100 Fubon employees engaging in charity work every single day of the year. Among its sports promotion activities in 2015, Fubon Life invested nearly NT$2 million to provide 310 children with basketball equipment and coaching.

To view the awardees of The Asset Corporate Awards 2016 – Best Initiative in Social Responsibility, please click here.