Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Should Alcohol Ads Carry Government Messages?

Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Should Alcohol Ads Carry Government Messages?

Article excerpt

Alcohol brands face the prospect of having to append a Department of Health message to the end of cinema and TV ads at the behest of the prime minister.

ANDREW EDWARDS, GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE, LEO BURNETT GROUP

We are a self-regulated industry; a strict code of conduct is enforced, whereby alcohol cannot be positioned as an aid to sexual or social success, encourage immoderate drinking or appeal to minors.

It is this advertiser-funded process that ensures TV alcohol advertising is responsible. As such, there are few complaints about it.

However, moderation is important and we would support a programme that encourages it. The question is how efficacious a warning at the end of an ad will really be. Will it just become wallpaper? Will it have the desired effect? Perhaps a long-term strategy to combat heavy drinking would be more effective than just labelling.

PHILIP ALMOND, MARKETING DIRECTOR, DIAGEO GB

We believe a significant part of the solution is to change people's attitudes to alcohol. To do this, campaigns have to be relevant, targeted and proven to make a difference.

We do not believe the government's suggestion is the right approach. A brand ad containing a government warning is likely to confuse, both in message and tone.

Evaluation of Diageo's responsible-drinking TV campaign shows 62% of people were more likely to reconsider their drinking habits as a result of seeing the ads.

We recommend the industry develops and executes its own message, while complementing the work of both government and the Drinkaware Trust. …

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