The Government is set to ban advertising promoting cut-price alcohol, following new evidence that links the sale of cheap booze to drink-fuelled crime and social disorder.
The move would mean that any campaign highlighting cheap alcohol deals, including TV and press, would be outlawed. It will have a direct effect on the marketing plans of most retailers, who continue to compete against one another through price promotions.
The move comes as research from the University of Sheffield, commissioned by the Home Office, has found evidence of a link between discounted alcohol and increased consumption, particularly among young people and those already drinking at high-risk levels.
The interim report says there is strong evidence to suggest that irresponsible retail practise fuels excess drinking and hence harm to health. The second phase of the review is due later this year, following which the impact of a range of different options for regulating or restricting how alcohol is priced and promoted will be examined.
It comes as the Department of Health announces a consultation examining proposals to clamp down on happy hours and a push to guarantee customers are offered smaller measures in pubs and bars (MW.co.uk, July 22)