Alcohol industry in the dock on promotions

Alcohol retailers and producers have been defending the role of promotions today (May 14) in the misuse of alcohol as Government pressure to curb irresponsible marketing is stepped up.

 Alcohol retailers and producers have been defending the role of promotions today (May 14) in the misuse of alcohol as Government pressure to curb irresponsible marketing is stepped up.

Appearing in front of the Health Select Committee, representatives from both the on and off-trade were quizzed by a committee of MPs on supermarket, pub and bar promotions as part of a wider inquiry into alcohol misuse.

David North, community and government director at Tesco, in response to a question about the number and prominence of in-store promotions and their role in the irresponsible consumption of alcohol, says promotions do not lead to increased consumption.

He adds that its research shows that customers buying alcohol on promotion do not buy the same type of alcohol again for a couple of weeks, suggesting “customers use promotions to stock up, not to consume more”.

Both North and Jeremy Blood, managing director of Scottish & Newcastle defended their contributions to industry funded responsible drinking site the Drinkaware Trust after Labour MP Stephen Hesford questioned whether their contributions as a proportion of marketing budgets is “derisory”.

Blood, who estimated that S&N’s contribution is between £1 and 2m against a marketing budget of about £50m, says he is “comfortable” with that amount especially considering the amount the Treasury receives from the industry in excise duty.

North, who estimates Tesco contributes about £75,000 to the Trust, says the amount is not reflective of Tesco’s “commitment” to the aims of the Trust , pointing out that the retailer already provides health information at point of sale while encouraging staff to “think 25” when serving young people.

The Committee also heard from Dr Petra Meir from the University of Sheffield, which last year produced research linking the price of alcohol with consumption.

North says Tesco is willing to play “active and constructive role” in Government-led discussions with the industry on the role of price, although both Blood and Jeremy Beadles, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association both state that minimum pricing would penalise the majority of responsible drinkers while having little affect on alcohol misuse.

The debate comes a day after the Government launched plans for a mandatory code which includes forcing supermarkets will be forced to display information on the health impacts of alcohol and a crackdown on “irresponsible” on-trade promotions although it confirmed it is not planning to introduce a minimum price per unit.

Recommended

The Sun names interim marketer

Marketing Week

Director of marketing for The Sun and News of the World Allan Maccaskill has resigned and his responsibilities are to be taken up in the short term by former BBC marketer Kathy McAllister. The changes have been confirmed and Maccaskill’s departure comes after only three months in the role. He took up responsibilities previously handled […]

Online sales up 14% on last year

Marketing Week

Online retail sales grew 14% over the last year, according to the IMRG Capgemini E-retail Sales Index. The report found that, despite the recession, UK online shoppers had spent an average of £10 more per visit in April 2009 than this time a year ago. The average online shopping basket value increased from £121.69 in […]

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Discover even more as a subscriber

    This article is available for subscribers only.

    Sign up now for your access-all-areas pass.

    If you're an existing paid print subscriber find out how to get access here.

    Subscribers enjoy unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing, alongside practical advice from the digital experts at Econsultancy.

    With a subscription to Marketing Week Premium you will get full access to:

    > World-renowned columnists

    > Analysis & case studies

    > Exclusive leading-edge insight

    > Carefully curated reports & briefings from Econsultancy

    > Plus, much more including a £300 discount for the Festival of Marketing

    Subscribe now

    Got a question?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

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

    Subscribers enjoy unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing, alongside practical advice from the digital experts at Econsultancy.

    With a subscription to Marketing Week Premium you will get full access to:

    > World-renowned columnists

    > Analysis & case studies

    > Exclusive leading-edge insight

    > Carefully curated reports & briefings from Econsultancy

    > Plus, much more including a £300 discount for the Festival of Marketing

    Subscribe now