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Advertising conglomerate WPP bans alcohol during office hours

British advertising conglomerate WPP has banned drinking in office. In its updated policy on alcohol at workplace, the ad major has explicitly stated, “No drinks trolleys should be provided nor alcohol consumed at desks.” It has also asked agencies to restrict drinking in dining rooms and lounges so that employees no longer have the luxury to sip a drink while channeling their creative energies.

The memo comes in the wake of allegations of improper behavior and misuse of company assets by CEO Martin Sorrell. The memo, sent to the employees by the group finance director Paul Richardson and director of internal audit Paul Stanley, also calls for:

  • Limiting drinking to no more than two hours outside workday
  • Providing safe transport for impaired or disabled employees
  • Restricting drinks to those below the legal drinking age
  • Ensuring food and non-alcoholic beverages and water to those who do not drink

Considering the impact of alcohol on the workplace morale, other companies have also taken stringent measures. In November 2017, after spotting liquor in refrigerators and beer in offices, Salesforce Chief Executive Marc Benioff implemented the no-alcohol policy in office. In February 2017, Lloyd’s of London had imposed a ban on drinking during office hours.

“Mad Men” days are over

The WPP directive to employees is a departure from the way advertising firms were portrayed in the “Mad Men” television series. Though it is grossly misleading now, there was a time when weed, nicotine and alcohol were thought to spur the creative process. This gained traction with the beat generation who were known to do drugs and consume alcohol with impunity. Matthew Weiner, creator of the Mad Men series defended his work at that time, “I’m trying to tell a story about that time. It’s not done for glamour. People drank more and all the time. They drank in their cars, at work, in the morning at work.”

In the series, slushing out on martinis and manhattans was part of the ad trade. Drink trollies were passed around at lunch time and creative copywriters were shown rolling pot and being at their creative best. The series made drinking and smoking weed look good, glamorous and cool, which goes against the grain. It is a known fact that even people who can function well despite their drinking habit are unable to keep up their façade for long. This is evident from the last few episodes of the series, wherein the full impact of Don Draper alcoholism on his personal and professional life was shown as he lost everything.

Dealing with alcohol abuse

Alcohol abuse, dependence and addiction is a scourge which should be reined in as soon as possible. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 20.1 million Americans, aged 12 years or older, had a substance use disorder (SUD) in the past year, including more than 15 million with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) and nearly 7.4 million people with an illicit drug use disorder (DUD). Alcohol addiction can impair the overall quality of life, disrupt professional work, strain personal and social relationships, and heighten the risk of traffic accidents and unlawful practices. Too much drinking can also cost someone his/her life.

If you or a loved one is battling an addiction to alcohol, professional help should be sought at the earliest. The 24/7 Recovery Helpline can share information on some of the renowned alcohol abuse treatment centers and get you connected to the best alcohol addiction treatment options. Call our 24/7 helpline (855) 441-4405 or chat online with our trained representatives to know more.

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