Heineken says it wants to make being drunk uncool

‘I don’t give a s*** if you vote for me or if I get fired from Heineken,’ says Ireland chief executive on her stance

The chief executive of Heineken in Ireland told a retailers' conference today that the company wants to help make it "uncool to be drunk" in Ireland in future.

Maggie Timoney, who was speaking at the Checkout Retail conference in the Mansion House in Dublin, also criticised planned new laws in relation to alcohol because "they won't change behaviour".

Ms Timoney said proposed advertising advertising restrictions in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill would not change the behaviour of people who abuse alcohol.

She said the focus should instead be on encouraging moderate drinking among people generally, and delaying when young people have their first drink.


“This isn’t a popularity contest. I don’t give a s*** if you vote for me or if I get fired from Heineken. But we need to make it uncool to be drunk in Ireland,” she told delegates.

She showed a new Heineken ad showing relatively sober men hooking up with women, ending with the slogan “moderate drinkers wanted”.

Ms Timoney, who worked abroad for Heineken many years before returning to Ireland two years ago, said she was “shocked” when she discovered the “negative sentiment” she said currently exists towards the drinks industry in Ireland.

“We should be working together to end alcohol abuse,” she insisted.

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times