A6. Advertising & Marketing alcohol

“We commit to further action on advertising and marketing, namely the development of a new sponsorship code requiring the promotion of responsible drinking, not putting alcohol adverts on outdoor poster sites within 100m of schools and adhering to the Drinkaware brand guidelines to ensure clear and consistent usage.”

The following provides background and supporting information to help organisations understand what this pledge sets out to achieve and how, by becoming a Responsibility Deal partner, you can help deliver this pledge.

What this pledge sets out to achieve, and why this is important

This pledge will support the objectives of the current codes of practice on the marketing of alcoholic drinks in seeking to ensure that alcohol advertising is socially responsible and does not target children and young people.

This pledge commits alcohol producers and retailers to follow best practice and adhere to the three current codes of practice on the marketing of alcoholic drinks.

The Codes

The Committee of Advertising Practice and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice codes are overseen by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and focus on print and broadcast media.

The Portman Group are currently undertaking a comprehensive review of their Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks.  The review aims to ensure that the rules, which govern alcohol marketing including sponsorship, are robust and fit for purpose for the marketing environment, which has undergone significant change in recent years with the rapid growth in social networking and digital media.  The public consultation accompanying this review (closing on 13 January 2012), will look at every aspect of the code including non-paid digital marketing and communications around the strength of drinks.

Benefits to public health

The UK has some of the highest levels of binge drinking and alcohol consumption amongst 15-16 year olds in Europe.  There is growing evidence of a link between exposure to alcohol marketing and the initiation of drinking and levels of consumption amongst young people. 

We expect that changes to current advertising and marketing practices, including sponsorship, would work alongside better alcohol education for children and parents to delay the onset of drinking by young people.

How you can deliver this pledge

Industry can meet their commitment to this pledge by ensuring that they follow the latest best practice and adhere to the three current codes of practice around the marketing of alcoholic drinks.  The Portman Group also offer advice to companies on how best to follow the Codes that they are responsible for.

Information on how the ASA Codes work and what they require is available.

Your pledge delivery plan

Shortly after signing up, partners will be asked to provide pledge delivery plans, laying out how they intend to meet each of the pledges they have signed up to.  They will have up to 500 words to describe their plans for each pledge they are signed up to.  All delivery plans will be published on this website.

Reporting progress on your pledge

Partners will be asked to report on their progress by the end of April each year.  For some pledges, partners will be asked to report using pre-defined quantitative measures, while for others they will be asked for a narrative update.  Further information on the reporting arrangements for each pledge is available.  All annual updates will be published on this website.

We are currently developing a web-based system that will allow partners to complete their delivery plans and annual updates online from 2013.

The Portman Group will also report through their website and other means the results of their annual monitoring of complaints against the Code.  The results of their monitoring can be found here.

Partners signed up to this pledge.

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