Industry alliance will push healthy attitude to booze

The alcohol industry is in talks to form an alliance that aims to champion healthy attitudes to drinking. It comes as the industry prepares for a proposed Government assault that could force it to include health warnings on all drinks ads.

The alcohol industry is in talks to form an alliance that aims to champion “healthy attitudes” to drinking. It comes as the industry prepares for a proposed Government assault that could force it to include health warnings on all drinks ads.

It is understood that the planned campaign will mirror the food industry’s recent launch of Change4Life, an initiative launched in conjunction with the Department of Health to encourage healthy diets and exercise.

Alcohol manufacturers will fund the alliance and its work with their own money in a bid to convince the Government that it can use marketing to positively change drinking “culture and behaviour.”

The industry is thought to have managed to convince retailers including Sainsbury’s and Asda and pub operators such as Mitchells & Butlers to liaise with it on the campaign.

Led by the Portman Group, the initiative is looking at creating a logo or symbol and a strapline that can be used by manufacturers and retailers to help drive a attitudinal change in the UK’s binge drinking culture.

The move follows a summit hosted by Prime Minister Gordon Brown in November last year, when the industry met to discuss socially responsible campaigning (MW April 10).

A spokesman for the Portman Group says: “There’s a growing willingness within the industry to use its marketing to promote responsible drinking. A number of companies have developed their own campaigns and are using their marketing to promote responsibility messages and a number are also funding the Drinkaware Trust. Despite this, the alcohol industry is continuing to explore how it could further strengthen its work in this area.”

The Department of Health recently launched a “Safe, Sensible, Social” consultation as it stepped up its efforts to get tough on binge and underage drinking. One of the options under consideration by the DoH is to force advertisers to include a short public health message as an “end frame” after TV and cinema ads (MW June 2).

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