It was uncharacteristic of Iain Murray to adopt a conventional knee-jerk reaction to the new alcoholic pop drinks in “Bubble, bubble , toil and trouble” (MW January 19).
Though nobody else seems interested in asking the underlying questions, Iain might have been expected to do so. Is there any evidence that these drinks are persuading non-drinkers to start drinking or for young drinkers to drink more?
Are they simply switching people from established alcoholic drinks like cider and premium lager to alternatives which they prefer?
Alcoholic pops are not fundamentally new. Young drinkers have always been able to imbibe alcohol/pop drinks, like rum and coke, vodka and lemonade, and snowballs.
The only difference is that the new potions are pre-mixed. And all the previous history of the alcohol market suggests that pre-mixed drinks fail to achieve long-term success.
Whether or not the ASA has been right to ban the Hooch campaign is not the point. There should be more concern about mindless public response to the new drinks.
The Advertising Association