Today I’m kicking off Agency Brief with some personal news. This is my final briefing as I am moving on from Ad Age. I hope my little industry roundups were helpful, entertaining or at least provided some sort of brief distraction from the workday.
Now let’s get on with it.
Campaign aims to halt Belgium’s drinking and driving problem
In a campaign for the Belgian Traffic Institute (VIAS) and Parents of Road Victims, FCB alliance agency Happiness is helping combat a pervasive issue in Belgium: drinking and driving. While the country enforces strict laws against drinking and driving, including automatic fines before harsher penalties kick in, the agency says drivers in the country “are still among the worst-in-class for the offense.” According to Happiness, one out of five accidents in Belgium are due to alcohol.
In order to drive the issue home with those in the country who continue to drink and drive, Happiness has reimagined Belgium’s “Bob” campaign—in which police have been giving responsible people relying on sober drivers to take them home after consuming alcohol a key ring with the name “Bob,” a symbol for “designated driver,” on it. That campaign has been running since 1995, but clearly hasn’t done much to stop drinking and driving. Now, as part of the new effort, people who are caught drinking and driving will receive a key ring with the name of one child on it who died from a drunk driving accident. The key rings, which feature one of eight victims, were already handed out to several drunk drivers over the Christmas holiday, as seen in the video below. Drivers are then told to exchange their key rings for a traffic course at VIAS. These offenders also heard about the stories of the victims, like Axelle. She was the youngest of the victims at just 3-and-a-half years-old who, while walking with her mother on a sidewalk, was fatally hit by a driver under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
“Eight victims. Eight heart-breaking stories told by their relatives,” says the agency. “Sadly, in reality, there are many more than eight young lives to be mourned. In 2019 there were still 4,106 accidents in which a driver was under the influence. On average a driver involved in an accident with physical injuries has 1.7 per mil in his blood! But even lower alcohol intoxications are dangerous. In Belgium every day there is an accident in which the driver had no more than 0.8 per mil alcohol in his blood.”