Alcohol industry calls for clarification on unit comms

Alcohol industry and health campaigners are hoping a new inquiry on ’safe’ drinking guidelines will lead to better Government communication campaigns, ending years of public confusion how much booze is ’ok’.

Alcohol Units
A campaign created by the British Beer and Pub Association

The inquiry by the House of Lords Science & Technology select committee will review the scientific evidence underpinning the fifteen year old guidelines, new evidence of the affects of alcohol and international approaches, and the effectiveness of Government efforts to educate the public on safe drinking levels.

The Committee decided to take a new look at the guidelines following publication of the Government’s Public Health Responsibility Deal in March, which included a pledge to foster “a culture of responsible drinking, which will help people to drink within guidelines.”

Sensible drinking campaigners Alcohol Concern, and industry bodies The Portman Group and The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) have welcomed the inquiry.

Marketing Week understands industry groups have also privately welcomed that the review is being carried out by a committee which doesn’t have a public health remit.

However, the BBPA, which has recently launched a pub-based ’unit awareness’ campaign alongside safe drinking education body Drinkaware, has warned the public must be consulted if any changes are recommended to ensure they accept and engage with the guidelines.

“If it becomes a Whitehall knows all approach then it clearly won’t work,” says the BBPA public affairs director David Wilson.

Written submissions to the inquiry – which is also investigating international approaches – are being collected until mid-September.

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