Story UK teams up with Balance to launch ‘Alcohol - Not the Answer’ campaign
MISSION Agency Story UK has launched a public awareness campaign in the North East of England aimed at tackling rising rates of alcohol consumption among millions of drinkers during COVID 19 and lockdown, to levels likely to put health at risk.
The “Alcohol – Not the Answer” campaign from Balance, funded by the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System and by local authority public health teams across the North East, launched on 11th November across multiple North East and Cumbria media channels - utilising TV, VOD, radio, digital, PR and stakeholder activity to drive people to ReducemyRisk.tv for tips and free tools to help cut down their alcohol intake.
It highlights that alcohol can weaken our immune system against infectious diseases like COVID 19, contribute to low mood and anxiety, and cause cancer, stroke and heart disease. The timing is aimed at reversing a worrying trend seen across the region and the country. A survey from October found that nearly 1/5 (18.6%) of people in the North East (around 397,640 people) are drinking more since COVID 19 and of those, over 3/4 (79%) are increasing and high risk drinkers.
Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, said: “The last eight months have been a worrying and stressful time, but using alcohol to cope is not the answer. We all need to be as fit and resilient as we can be right now for ourselves and our families. It may be shocking but the World Health Organisation has warned that alcohol can harm the body’s immune system, meaning there may be an increased risk from the virus. This is about a right to know.
“We are encouraging people to take more drink free days and try to stay within no more than 14 units a week. Keeping alcohol in check is an important way to protect our overall health and fitness for the time when we emerge from this crisis.”
James McKendrick, Client Director from Story Newcastle added: “This is a challenging time to be developing a campaign with health messaging that will really cut through and connect with audiences, but we hope that the ‘Alcohol – Not the Answer’ campaign will encourage those who really need support and advice to seek it.”