Changing environmental cues to reduce alcohol consumption NIHR School for Public Health ResearchNIHR SPHR

It was coded whether such a brand post had a disclosure of sponsored content (no/yes) and if so, what this disclosure involved (e.g., “#ad”). A report published earlier this month by Public Health Scotland had suggested the country’s minimum alcohol pricing policy had not encouraged problem drinkers to consume less, but had instead prompted some to cut back on food or heating to afford rising costs. More than half the advertisements were regarded as implying that drinking alcohol contributes to drinkers’ popularity or confidence and that alcohol is capable of changing mood, physical condition or is nourishment.

This effect was fully explained by displeasure felt in response to the warning adverts, indicating that media campaigns that can produce negative affect about the health consequences of alcohol use can reduce the desire to drink. We found that increasing the price of sugary drinks eco sober house rating could increase purchases of lager, while increases in the price of diet drinks could increase purchases of beer, cider and wines. The UK Government levy on sugary drinks producers began in April 2018, potentially influencing the cost of a large range of non-alcoholic beverages.

Recommendations put forward by the group to the Government include introducing advertising restrictions for print publications, and ensuring these restrictions include all forms of brand marketing beyond company names. “Children and young people tell us they see alcohol everywhere, all the time, and they worry that adverts make alcohol seem cool and exciting. Taken together, the conclusions of this analysis and our latest survey, along with the comparatively small number of breaches judged by the ASA, indicate that co-regulation of UK television alcohol adverts is ineffective and requires reconsideration. So it is perhaps unsurprising that the ASA’s studies report over 99% compliance of advertisements across all media with the BCAP Code.

  • We need to wake up and defend the next generation from making these mistakes and ruining not only their lives but others as well.
  • Zenith estimates a 9.2% annual growth in digital ad spend between 2019 and 2023, when online advertising will account for 30% of alcohol brands’ marketing budgets.
  • No medium should be used to advertise alcoholic drinks if more than 25% of its audience is under 18 years of age.

Alcohol is marketed not just through TV, cinema, and billboard ads, but also through product placement in TV shows, sponsorship of sports events, merchandise, placement within supermarkets, on social media, and even on the packaging eco sober house complaints itself. All of these various elements of the marketing mix support and depend on each other. The major problem with a ban on alcohol advertisements is that, while they push brands, they also help to educate and inform.

Did you know with a Digital Subscription to The Scotsman, you can get unlimited access to the website including our premium content, as well as benefiting from fewer ads, loyalty rewards and much more. But the group has called for the Scottish Government to take further action against such marketing content, which it said had become “increasingly sophisticated and more difficult to avoid”. If there is a service, specific guide, piece of information, or an event you were expecting to see please contact us and we will do our best to assist. Meantime Brewing Company has collaborated with jazz musician Moses Boyd in an online video campaign by Pitch Marketing Group. The Heineken beer brand continues its ethos of experimentation with this film showing house party guests celebrating their creativity. A collection of the best Alcohol creative work, such as advertising, marketing campaigns and videos.

Infographic – Do’s and Don’ts on advertising of medicines in Italy

In an online pilot study of 152 young adult drinkers, we found that those who had been randomized to view alcohol warning adverts reported reduced urges to drink alcohol compared to those randomized to view either alcohol promoting or non-alcohol adverts. My son has had so many problems due to alcohol and for the longest time I have put much of the blame on advertising of alcohol. I have wanted to speak out about the dangers and misconceptions of how it affects family’s lives in general. It’s not only a money pit for the alcohol manufacturers but also local city governments, our laws are so strict about drinking and driving that it is suppose to deter from doing so. When our young see the commercials of people having so much fun drinking, they tend to follow in those footsteps. Then they get caught and go to jail, lawyers are expensive, bail is expensive, treatment centers are expensive, having to take time to drive the offender around because they lost their license is expensive.

  • Maybe this is not the best time of year to be thinking about this or maybe it is.
  • Advertising these brands is important to the UK’s economy but it is also important that the rules are both responsible and effective.
  • Further more, images of alcoholic drinks on television have to be blurred.

Lower strength products were therefore seen as targeting non-traditional consumers and occasions , suggesting these products may be perceived as extensions to regular strength alcoholic drinks rather than as substitutes for them. For nearly decades now, alcohol marketers have been aggressively using digital and social media platforms to promote and distribute alcohol. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and TikTok are part of the marketing machinery of alcohol brands, retailers and venues. Yet, these platforms’ promotion, advertising, and retail arenunregulated and opaque. The first and foremost finding was that a large majority (i.e., 63.5%) of the influencers had at least one alcoholpost among their most recent 100 posts.

A survey we carried out found 10 and 11 year olds were more familiar with certain beer brands than leading brands of biscuits, crisps and ice cream. A coalition of organisations working together to reduce the harm caused by alcohol. Marketing communications may give factual information about product contents, including comparisons, but must not make any health, fitness or weight-control claims. Marketing communications must not link alcohol with activities or locations in which drinking would be unsafe or unwise. Marketing communications must not imply that alcohol has therapeutic qualities. Alcohol must not be portrayed as capable of changing mood, physical condition or behaviour or as a source of nourishment.


Making in-store alcohol displays visible only to those planning to browse or purchase alcohol and mandating the display of health information on all packaging has also been suggested. The latest creative jobs in advertising, media and marketing delivered directly to your inbox each day. Copy must not falsely indicate the country of origin of an alcoholic drink. The tag “brewed in the UK” will be needed in cases where an advertisement for a drink manufactured in the UK nevertheless portrays the drink as being brewed, or originating from, overseas.

alcohol advertising

Advertising copy – by content, style or tone – must not encourage people to start drinking alcohol or encourage people to drink more alcohol than usual. Currently, the only one of these which is in place in England and Wales are the rules on the content of marketing materials. In Scotland there has been more progress, with licensing legislation requiring alcohol to be only placed in one section of a shop or supermarket. Some local authorities have taken local action to ban advertising in public spaces such as bus shelters. However, the self-regulatory system means that restrictions on advertising content are not actively monitored by the large regulatory organisations.

Which countries ban what?

Advertising these brands is important to the UK’s economy but it is also important that the rules are both responsible and effective. Furthermore, I have never seen a TV commercial which shows people drinking and having a really bad time. You never see an ad for a drink that shows someone on their own at home drowning their sorrows or having a fight outside a pub or beating up their wife because they have been drinking. So even though the ad must not suggest that alcohol provides happiness, joviality, fun and improved social interaction – they obviously do.

The pandemic forced alcohol brands to move online as TV and out-of-home became ‘less effective’ with consumers shifting to digital media, the report noted. A tweet from a craft brewery’s account irresponsibly condoned and encouraged unwise styles of drinking, such as drinking at breakfast and made health claims about its products which are not permitted for alcoholic drinks. Verbal descriptors of lower strength wine and beer formed two clusters and effectively communicated reduced alcohol content. The verbal descriptors Low, Lower, Light, Lighter, and Reduced formed a cluster and were rated as denoting lower strength products than Regular, but higher strength than the cluster with intensifiers consisting of Extra Low, Super Low, Extra Light and Super Light. In a sample of 3,390 weekly wine and beer drinkers we assessed the impact of labelling wine and beer with different verbal descriptors denoting lower strength, with and without %ABV, on product appeal and understanding of strength.

While Norway has similar rules to Sweden, low-alcoholic beverages can be advertised but nothing stronger, they are not inside the EU and therefore the national law holds strong. Alcohol Focus Scotland, BMA Scotland, SHAAP and Scottish Families have joined forces to warn that protecting children from exposure to alcohol marketing must be given far greater priority by all parties in the next term of the Scottish Parliament. In the longer term, more comprehensive restrictions should be introduced to limit exposure to alcohol marketing, in line with WHO recommendations. This report brings together the latest evidence on alcohol marketing in the UK. Zenith noted the prominence of spirits brands in advertising, which made use of influencers and trade partners to show consumers how to make cocktails. According to the report, alcohol ad spend fell from £5.9 billion (US$8.3bn) in 2019 to £5.2bn (US$7.3bn) in 2020.

alcohol advertising

Recently, Endeavour Group invested $35 million in an initiative codenamed EndeavourX for developing the next generation of their digital infrastructure to combine targeted advertising with their retail after “online sales grew $603 million in just six months”. It was indicated whether the alcoholpost clearly (i.e., full brand name, recognizable logo, or brand name in header or tag visible) showed an alcohol brand, and if so which one. “A number of other countries have already imposed bans on alcohol marketing and the Scottish Government has committed to consulting in the autumn. Introducing these measures would address the concept that drinking is “normal and desirable”, the charity said, and would cut the amount of exposure people in recovery for alcohol problems face.

Influential Others: The Case of Influencers

By the time most of the population are ready to purchase alcohol they have a basic understanding of aged spirits and un-aged, gin compared to vodka and perhaps even the knowledge that bourbon and Scotch are whiskies, they are quite different. Marketing communications must not be directed at people under 18 through the selection of media or the context in which they appear. No medium should be used to advertise alcoholic drinks if more than 25% of its audience is under 18 years of age. We did not find evidence that viewing alcohol portrayals in TV programmes or films led to increased drinking, based on combining results from six studies. A recent report by published in the Lancet in 2018 said that , “there is no safe level of alcohol” Furthermore alcohol consumption is linked to diseases such as cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, heart disease, diabetes, and many more.

  • It has a damaging effect on our health and also our behaviour resulting in injuries or accidents.
  • An analysis of the role of the Portman Group in alcohol industry self-regulation.
  • That is, we found that if influencers disclosed that they advertised for an alcohol brand this was related to fewer likes and comments than when they did not give such a disclosure .
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  • “A number of other countries have already imposed bans on alcohol marketing and the Scottish Government has committed to consulting in the autumn.

Advertisements for alcoholic drinks must not be scheduled in programmes directed particularly at under 18s or in religious programmes. An analysis of the role of the Portman Group in alcohol industry self-regulation Read this report on the marketing regulator. We are calling for a thorough overhaul of the way alcohol marketing is regulated – so that alcohol producers and sellers are clear about how they can and can’t promote their products, and consumers know when they can expect the regulators to step in.

Consequently, it is difficult for regulators to pin down the subtle emotional associations present in modern advertising as indicating the use of such concepts which would be in breach of the BCAP Code. In the UK, the total annual expenditure on alcohol advertising is around £200 million, of which about £100 million is spent on television advertisements. Members of the alcohol and advertising industries argue that these alcohol advertisements do not influence levels or patterns of consumption, but serve to promote brand loyalty. Adverts which link alcohol with risk-taking or social success or which encourage excessive consumption could increase drinker’s likelihood of causing themselves or others harm. The British Medical Journal has only recently called for “a complete ban on alcohol advertising and sponsorship.” The editorial says that such a move is long overdue and would protect Britain’s youth. The publication went as far as to suggest that brands were “grooming the next generation.”

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