Alcohol industry rejects PM’s “sloganeering” accusation

The alcohol industry has defended its record on tackling alcohol abuse ahead of a speech by David Cameron that will call on pubs, supermarkets and producers to do more to promote responsible drinking.

Drinking

In a speech to be delivered later today (15 February), the Prime Minister will call on the industry to make sure that their efforts to tackle what he will describe as the “scandal” of public drunkenness amount to more than a “slogan”.

He is expected to ask the on and off trade as well brand owners to help develop “innovate solutions” to tackle the “rising tide of unacceptable behavior” that he says costs the NHS £2.7bn a year in dealing with alcohol related injuries.

Cameron will say: “This isn’t just about more rules and regulation. It’s about responsibility and a sense of respect for others.

“This is an area where the drinks industry, supermarkets, pubs and clubs need to work with government so that responsible drinking becomes a reality and not just a slogan.”

Richard Dodd, spokesman for the British Retail Consortium, which represents the major supermarkets, rejected accusations of what he termed “sloganeering”.

“It is nonsense to say we are sloganeering. Retailers are already engaged in funding [alcohol information service] Drinkaware and play a full and active role through ‘Know Your Limits’ activity and the Challenge 25 inititave”.

A spokesman for the British Beer and Pub Association says it agrees that work needs to continue to ensure that alcohol is consumed responsibly but that industry is “doing a lot already”.

“We are open to playing a wider role in partnership with the government to encourage responsible drinking,” he adds.

Alcohol producers’ body Portman Group chief executive Henry Ashworth says that its members are “determined to be effective partners in tackling public drunkenness”.

The Prime Minister’s comments come ahead of the publication of the government’s alcohol strategy, expected next month. The document is expected to include proposals that will see a higher minimum price for alcohol set in addition to the below cost price ban to be introduced in April.

The introduction of a minimum price per unit of alcohol will anger the drinks industry, which argues that minimum pricing would unfairly penalise the majority of responsible drinkers.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

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

THE BEST CONTENT

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.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

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.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

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 subscriptions@marketingweek.com

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