Marketers turned off by idea of health warnings

Supermarkets should not have to display health warnings next to alcoholic drinks is the consensus among marketers.

Of those surveyed by marketingweek.co.uk, 56% say supermarkets should not be forced to display the warnings compared with 40% who say they should.

The question comes a week after the Government unveiled plans to force supermarkets to display health information next to alcoholic drinks under existing powers from the Food Safety Act.

In its mandatory code of practice on alcohol, the Government is also to ask alcohol retailers to display information about the alcohol unit content of drinks.

The role of marketing in the misuse of alcohol has been under the spotlight recently. Earlier this month, representatives from the on and off-trade were quizzed by a committee of MPs on supermarket and pub promotions. David North, Tesco community and government director, claimed that customers use promotions to stock up and not to consume more.

Drinks makers have so far avoided any mandatory requirement to include health warnings, and advertising follows a self-regulatory code of practice overseen by industry body The Portman Group.

Members of the group, which includes Diageo, Bacardi-Martini and Inbev UK as members, all carry a message to drink responsibility on their marketing communications, and a link to the Drinkaware Trust website, an industry funded website that includes information on safe alcohol consumption.

Should supermarkets be forced to display health warnings next to alcohol products?

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