Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the Advertising Standards Authority.


Ads featuring alcohol must not show it being handled or served irresponsibly. This relates not only to the number and size of the measures poured but also the way in which they are poured. Showing the serving of alcohol being treated very casually and with little regard is unlikely to be acceptable. For example, very flamboyant pouring of drinks has previously been considered irresponsible (Bacardi-Martini Ltd, January 2005).

Showing alcohol being poured from two bottles into large glasses alongside "How many bottles would you need to last the whole night?" was also seen as showing irresponsible handling and serving due to the casual nature with which the large volume of alcohol was being served (Hi Spirits Ltd, May 2013).

An image of a young woman free pouring alcohol near her mouth and sticking out her tongue to catch it was ruled to show a casual and careless style of drinking (NoCurfew Events Ltd, 3 April 2013). Similarly, scenes of people drinking "body shots" off each other and the free pouring of alcohol directly from a bottle into people's mouths were considered to be showing alcohol being handled and served in an uncontrolled and irresponsible manner and therefore found to breach the Code (Sam Welply t/a Tequila UK, 26 February 2014).

As with other rules in the Alcohol section, this applies whenever alcohol is featured or referred to in an ad, even if it isn’t directly advertising an alcoholic drink. An ad promoting a premium holiday service which showed a number of bottles of champagne, some tipped over and with torn labels and others being poured into a jacuzzi in which sat a character with more than one glass in his hand, has been considered to fall foul of this rule (Virgin Holidays Ltd, September 2010).

See also 'Alcohol: Unwise or excessive consumption'.

Updated 04/11/2015


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