Government flexes muscles in clampdown on booze ads

booze%20adsThe alcohol and retail industry is braced for a Government clampdown that is expected to end “happy hours” and severely restrict sales promotions. Government proposals on the sale of alcohol are due to be published in the next few weeks following this summer’s consultation on the nation’s drinking habits.

The Department of Health’s “Safe, Sensible, Social” consultation, launched on July 22, is expected to come down hard on bars, clubs, pubs and retailers. A source close to the consultation process says the Government has “lost patience with the way the on- and off trade promotes alcohol.”

The proposals follow a report by consultants KPMG looking at alcohol industry standards, which was published in the summer (MW July 22). It found evidence of poor practice in the way alcohol is promoted
It is understood the DoH will push forward a self-regulation code for pubs and retailers, which will include banning large measures, restricting promotions and mandatory point-of-sale information. It will also mean that shop checkouts will not be allowed to display alcohol-related promotions.

Meanwhile, it is also expected that it will be made mandatory for alcohol producers to include health warnings on all drinks ads. The Government’s final report is expected to force advertisers to include a short public health message as an “end frame” after TV and cinema ads (MW June 2).

Separately, a report from Sheffield University into price and promotion is also expected in the next month. Insiders say that it is less conclusive on issues such as whether raising the price could reduce alcohol abuse.

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