Balls to scrutinise alcohol brands in youth action plan

Ed%20Balls%2C%20Secretary%20of%20State%20for%20the%20Department%20of%20Children%2C%20Schools%20and%20FamiliesAlcohol advertising will come under further scrutiny as Ed Balls, the Secretary of State for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), plans to look at the role that alcohol brands play in influencing children.

The move is part of the Youth Alcohol Action Plan, which will be announced by the department in June. The programme is part of the Secretary of State’s agenda on how to cut down drinking among children.

The new programme will be in addition to the anti-binge drinking campaign led by the Home Office and the Department of Health’s social marketing campaign, which includes the £6m “Know your limits” campaign launched this week.

The Youth Alcohol Action Plan will also look into giving advice to parents about when best to introduce alcohol to children or how often to allow them a glass of wine with dinner.

One insider says: “The DCSF feels the need to jump into the alcohol abuse de-bate because it thinks that parents are confused about how to deal with the issue when it comes to young children.”

It is understood focus groups with several stakeholders including alcohol producers have already been undertaken to look into the role that brands are playing “intentionally or unintentionally” when influencing children; and to understand why children have started drinking at an earlier age.

The “Know your limits” ad launched by the Department of Health earlier this week was the first phase of its campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking. The campaign will initially focus on educating consumers about how many units are in their drinks and healthy consumption rates. Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest created the campaign, which is billed as the Government’s biggest alcohol awareness campaign to date.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here