Alcohol industry launches £100m responsible drinking push

The UK alcohol industry, backed by the Government, is to launch a £100m marketing campaign aimed at curbing binge drinking.

Drinkaware campaign

The ‘Campaign for Smarter Drinking’ has been developed by 45 companies and is intended to run over the next five years in partnership with industry funded charity Drinkaware and the Government.

However, Government backing beyond the campaign’s first year is conditional “on the results of an independent audit of the campaign’s funding and effectiveness” as well as a review of industry funding commitments to Drinkaware.

Earlier this month, it emerged Drinkaware is facing a £2m shortfall in funding after the industry fell 40% short of the charity’s funding target for 2009.

Andy Burnham, secretary of state for Health, says the industry “has a responsibility” in tackling the problem of alcohol misuse.

Activity will include outdoor, drink mats in pubs and bars, on-pack and point of sale displays in retailers under the strapline “why let good times go bad”. Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO will handle the advertising with media planning and buying being handled by the campaign.

The campaign aims to change attitudes towards drunkenness and reduce excessive consumption among 18-34 year olds by highlighting the benefits of “responsible enjoyment”.

The industry had been working on developing a coordinated effort to address alcohol misuse under the moniker of Project 10 for the last two years. Pressure on the industry to play its part in curbing excessive consumption has been mounting of late with charity Alcohol Concern claiming the rules on advertising to children are being broken.

The charity dismissed the move, calling the campaign “another example of the drinks industry trying desperately to avoid mandatory legislation to pass on health information to consumers.”

Some members of The Health Committee, an influential group of MPs investigating the misuse of alcohol, have also recently suggested that existing regulation on the advertising of alcohol is “lax”.

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