Retailers reject criticism of alcohol promotions

The British Retail Consortium has rejected claims from a coalition of health bodies that cut-price alcohol promotions could contribute to a health “crisis”.

The Alcohol Health Alliance has called for a ban on price-based TV ads in its submission to a consultation on changes to The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) advertising rules.

The health coalition, which includes Alcohol Concern and the Royal College of Physicians, says the rules encourage supermarkets to compete on cut-price alcohol promotions, which contributes to increased consumption and “an escalating public health crisis”.

Responding to the Alliance’s call, Sandra Gidley, Liberal Democrat MP and member of the Health Select Committee currently investigating alcohol misuse, told Marketing Week that restrictions on alcohol promotions “do not go far enough”.

However, BRC food director Andrew Opie says alcohol promotions are not about encouraging excessive consumption. “Irresponsible drinking is not a result of prices or promotions. Its causes are cultural,” he says.

Last month, Tesco also defended the role of supermarket promotions at the Health Select Committee hearing on the role of marketing in the consumption of alcohol. Tesco said research showed that customers buying alcohol do so to stock up, not to consume more.

CAP and BCAP’s new rules governing advertising are expected in the autumn.

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 3711 or email

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