Tuesday 8 September 2009

Alcohol Advertising Ban?

The BBC is reporting that the BMA is calling for a ban on all alcohol advertising.

Now, although I have concerns over the power of big brands on consumer choice, it is just not on to take away my ability to advertise the beer I make. Nor for that matter should they stop me mentioning any interesting alcoholic beverage I might be selling to set me apart from the run of the mill pub. I would not be able to mention Westmalle, Mort Subite or for that matter Tokyo* in my advertising. I wouldn't even be able to mention Woolpacker either and possibly couldn't even mention the fact that I had a brewery on site.

If there is anything that could destroy diversity in British drinking culture, this would be it.

I'm not a revolutionary, but would consider chaining myself to the gates of Buckingham Palace over this one. However, I'm guessing there will be enough groundswell of opinion for me to not have to do that.


Dan Cave said...

Hi Dave, a total ban is typical rough handed tactic the current governemnt seem to enjoy using. ALong with teh beer glass fiasco they are really trying to kill the industry as if it were evil.

If this goes through though the online advertising agencies will see a boom in beer advertisment online. Blogs like ours will become either more valuable than ever or... they will be wiped out and replaced by big budget advertising.

Be prepaired to use longer search terms when looking for good beer information online in the furute if this ban comes through.

Curmudgeon said...

If it was like the tobacco ban, it would prohibit all advertising and promotion whether or not paid for. It would be illegal for you to mention on your blog what beers you sold (or even that you sold beer at all), and the Good Beer Guide would become a banned publication. It would also be impossible to run a beer festival if you couldn't promote it. But I doubt whether it would cut consumption one jot.

Sat In A Pub said...

It is a crazy idea but I wouldn't get too worked up about it-it's far too fraught with difficulties to be seriously considered for some time.

Cooking Lager said...

What would you expect the BMA to say? They are entitled to express the view of the medical fraternity, who to be fair, see first hand the cost of alcohol related problems. Noting your recent pro NHS post, is it good that A&E in most towns is full of aggressive piss head every weekend? Somethings needs to be done about this nations relationship with booze. However a notion that somethings needs to be done, this is something, lets do it, will as Curmudgy states, probally not have the desired effect.

Velky Al said...

I can't see this ever coming into force. While I could perhaps see a point to banning alcohol advertising on tv - such as when Liverpool play French teams, Carlsberg is removed from the shirts - banning all advertising simply would not work and of course this attitude is the typical response of people looking for a scapegoat to blame for society's ills. Without wanting to sound like I have been taking lessons from the NRA, cheap megaswill from Tesco doesn't make for anti-social behaviour on the streets; cheap deals at Wetherspoons doesn't make for anti-social behaviour on the streets.

You can't get much cheaper than some of the pubs I know in Prague, and do you see this kind of behaviour on the streets of the Old Town?

Cheap booze is not the problem, British drinking culture is the problem. Demonising booze and going for the neo-Prohibitionist route will solve nothing.

StringersBeer said...

Well, according to the WHO - worldwide, alcohol causes 1.8 million deaths
Whereas (also WHO) 2.7 million deaths are attributable to low fruit and vegetable intake, and 1.9 million deaths are attributable to physical inactivity.

So - walk to the pub and eat some blinking fruit and you'll be laughing, you lardy articles.

Unknown said...


Spot on, culture is the problem. Legislation is a blunt instrument to use against culture.


I don't think treating adults like children is going to help. The BMA are not looking at the situation holistically. I believe, and you might disagree, that liberlisation of alcohol laws is what helps, not being draconian. Treat adults like adults and they are more likely to behave like adults.

I personally agree with alcohol education, but the BMA should stick to that, not trying to solve the problem by making it naughty, and therefore desirable.

I wonder how many deaths are caused by depilation or perhaps eplilation, must be bad for you, surely?

Stringer, thank you, I needed a laugh. Your first draft, although possibly too rude, was funny. I'm glad they all come through on email.