Diageo Canada promotes responsible drinking with new #TAXI partnership

TORONTO, March 22 /CNW/ – Diageo Canada, the industry leader in promoting responsible drinking, and CellWand Communications Inc., a leading provider of on-demand services for mobile phone users, today announced a partnership to promote responsible drinking with usage of its #TAXI® mobile phone service. #TAXI (Pound Taxi) is an easy to use mobile phone application that connects callers to the first available local taxicab company, encouraging consumers to make their last call of the night one that will get them home safely.

Diageo is committed to reminding all Canadians to enjoy their products responsibly, and is pleased to be the sole beverage alcohol company in the country to partner with #TAXI to ensure consumers make it home safely after a night out with friends. As the world’s leading premium drinks business, creating a more positive role for alcohol in society is one of the most important social issues the company addresses.

“We believe that responsible drinking is a valued and enjoyable part of celebrations in everyday life for those people who choose to drink,” says Bob Paling, VP, Corporate Relations, Diageo Canada. “Seeking to change consumer attitudes and behaviour so that adults make responsible choices about drinking is something we strive for. As such, our exclusive partnership with #TAXI makes perfect sense.”

By simply dialing the pound sign followed by TAXI (#8-2-9-4) on any cell phone, callers can avoid busy signals and easily connect to the next available taxicab company in their area or their preferred cab company. The #TAXI program is available to all consumers nationally. Diageo will promote the #TAXI mobile phone service through promotional materials at its retail partners across Canada, as well on in-bar and restaurant promotional materials to remind consumers there are options when out for the night.

“With #TAXI available on all major wireless carriers in Canada, the partnership with Diageo and their retail as well as on-premise networks is critical in being at the “point of need” for a service like #TAXI,” says Michael Sachter, VP Marketing. “#TAXI allows venues to provide their patrons with an easy to remember and easy to use service that supports their efforts to promote responsible drinking and ensuring patrons get home safely.”

This is a natural evolution of a long term partnership. Diageo has run several campaigns in the past using #TAXI’s service with individual brands, including Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Guinness and Jose Cuervo.


Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O) is the world’s leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, beer and wine. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Buchanan’s and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Jose Cuervo, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 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 Diageo.com. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.

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ABOUT CellWand Communications Inc:

CellWand is North America’s leading provider of mobile search applications through abbreviated dialing codes. Utilizing location based technology, voice recognition and intelligent databases, these lifestyle applications give mobile phone users an easier way of connecting to businesses and information, while providing wireless carriers with increased Average Revenue Per User (ARPU).

CellWand’s first application, #TAXI® (Pound Taxi) is available on virtually every mobile phone in Canada with Bell Mobility, Fido, Rogers, TELUS, Koodo Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Aliant, Solo Mobile, MTS, SaskTel, Wine Mobile, Videotron and now in the U.S. with AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, Alltel and Boost Mobile – over 260 million mobile phones in North America. CellWand is a privately held company founded in Jan. 2000 with its headquarters in Toronto, Canada and was recognized by IDC as a top 10 Canadian Wireless Companies to Watch in 2008 and launch Silicon Valley’s top prize winner in 2009. #TAXI is a proud corporate sponsor of MADD and MADD Canada as part of promoting an easy way to plan ahead and get home safely after drinking. For more information visit CellWand’s website at www.CellWand.com and www.PoundTaxi.com.

For further information:
Alanna Stone Victoria Freeman
Diageo Canada High Road Communications
Alanna.Stone@diageo.com victoria.freeman@highroad.com
416-641-1712 416-644-2251

Michael Sachter
CellWand Communications