F1 Champion Mika Hakkinen Hosts Johnnie Walker Responsible Drinking Rally - Presents cheque to Educ'alcool

    MONTREAL, June 12 /CNW Telbec/ - With the roar of GPC 2007 just fading
away, two-time Formula One World Champion, and Johnnie Walker Global
Responsible Drinking Ambassador, Mika Hakkinen has come to Montreal to
demonstrate that his commitment to responsible drinking does not end with the
checkered flag. He hosted an innovative go-kart rally, on a track designed by
Montreal police to test drivers' safe driving aptitudes and presented the
proceeds of the Responsible Drinking Challenge launched last week by racing
sensation and Grand Prix du Canada 2007 winner, Lewis Hamilton.
    Hakkinen's first-ever North American appearance in his role as
Johnnie Walker Global Responsible Drinking Ambassador corresponded with the
exciting new initiative reinforcing the JOHNNIE WALKER(R) 'Winners always stay
in control - don't drink and drive' message. The Johnnie Walker Leaders' Rally
rewarded five lucky Montrealers for their dedication to the concept of a
designated driver with the opportunity of a lifetime to participate in a
one-of-a-kind rally featuring unique two-seater go-karts. The Rally also
served as a unique platform for Hakkinen to deliver an anti drink-driving
message to Canadians and to the large audience of F1 race fans around the
world. As part of his Global Responsible Drinking Ambassador role, Mika has
already travelled to Spain, Poland and Malaysia spreading the Responsible
Drinking message.
    "My experience as a racing driver has taught me a lot about being in
control," commented Mika. "I believe that I have a responsibility as a
high-profile driver to help address the hugely important issue of responsible
    "In its simplest form, responsible drinking means that all Canadians need
to be accountable for their own safety and that of those around them; whether
this means planning ahead and taking a taxi, or appointing one of your friends
to be the designated driver for the journey home. It may sound simple, but
unfortunately there are still people who think it is acceptable to drink and
drive and I am determined to do all I can to help change these attitudes,"
explained Hakkinen.
    Hakkinen also announced the results of last week's initiative by Vodafone
McLaren Mercedes racing sensation Lewis Hamilton who challenged all
Montrealers and all Grand Prix du Canada visitors to make a personal pledge to
responsible drinking both during race weekend and beyond by signing a pledge
board. Every signature on the Responsible Drinking Challenge board was matched
by a one dollar donation from Johnnie Walker, a key Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
sponsor, to Educ'alcool, an independent, not-for-profit organization whose
mission is to make Quebecers accountable for their drinking by encouraging
informed, moderate behaviour. A cheque for $5,000 was presented to
Jean-Guy Dubuc of Educ'alcool, while the pledge board was given to SPVM Chief
Inspector Réjean Toutant, head of the department's Sécurité Routière Division.
    "We are thrilled to be the only city in North America to welcome
Mika Hakkinen as Johnnie Walker's Global Responsible Drinking Ambassador and
to have him address the crucial issue of responsible drinking and safe driving
in such a novel way," commented Michele D'Angelo, Director of Marketing for
Johnnie Walker in Canada. "We urge all Canadians to make a personal pledge to
Responsible Drinking, and to set a world-class standard of commitment to
staying in control and making enlightened decisions about drinking
    "The partnership with Johnnie Walker and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has
seen us successfully deliver the Responsible Drinking and safe driving message
to millions of people around the world. Mika's close association with the
sport and his status as a role model for professionalism, precision and
control to consumers worldwide make him ideal for this important ambassadorial
role," explained D'Angelo.
    Today's rally participants earned a co-pilot position by submitting their
three best responsible drinking/safe driving tips to Montreal-area radio,
television and newspaper outlets. In addition to a prize package recognizing
their dedication to safe driving, the winning co-pilot of the skill course
challenge will attend the world-renowned Mercedes Defensive Driving School in
Shannonville, Ontario where he or she can further hone their safe driving

    About Mika Hakkinen

    Mika Hakkinen, Johnnie Walker Global Responsible Drinking Ambassador,
raced in Formula One from 1991 to 2001, winning the FIA Drivers' World
Championship in 1998 and 1999 with McLaren Mercedes. He has raced for Mercedes
in the DTM (German Touring Car) series since 2005. Hakkinen as acted as
Johnnie Walker Global Responsible Drinking Ambassador, since 2006.

    About Diageo

    Diageo (Dee-AH-Zhee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business
with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wine
and beer. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B,
Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and
Sterling Vineyards wines.
    Diageo is a global company, trading in some 180 countries around the
world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the
London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people,
brands, and performance, visit us at http://www.diageo.com.
    Celebrating life, every day, everywhere, responsibly.

    About Educ'alcool

    Educ'alcool is an independent, not-for-profit organization. Its members
are public institutions, alcoholic beverage industry associations and
individuals from various milieus (public health, education, journalism), who,
fully aware of their social responsibility, implement information, education
and prevention programs designed to help adults make enlightened, responsible
decisions about drinking. Educ'alcool's commitment is accurately reflected in
its slogan: La modération a bien meilleur goût / Moderation is always in good

For further information:

For further information: Tina Costakos/Rick Leckner, Maison Brison,
tina@maisonbrison.com, (514) 792-0772; Diageo Contact: Gillian Cook,
gillian.cook@Diageo.com, (416) 626-2000 Ext.2244

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