Alcohol alternatives consultation - interim statement

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), author of the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing, and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP), author of the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (together the UK Advertising Codes), are publishing an interim statement on progress with their consultation regarding new rules and guidance relating to alcohol alternatives.

The UK Advertising Codes include rules that prohibit condoning or encouraging immoderate, irresponsible, or anti-social drinking. The increasing popularity of alcohol alternatives led CAP and BCAP to consider marketers of such products would benefit from new rules and guidance to clarify how these products can be marketed responsibly.

The consultation was conducted between February and May 2022 with the deadline extended until July to accommodate a late response. A total of 23 responses were received. CAP and BCAP extend their thanks to all the respondents.

The significant number of detailed responses highlighted some areas meriting further analysis and potential expansions to the guidance. CAP and BCAP will continue to develop their proposals with a view to finalising them in Q1 of 2023. Areas for further enquiry include “new drinking occasions”, in particular regarding depictions of pregnancy in ads for low or no alcohol products, as well as questions about the pros and cons of shared branding between full strength alcoholic drinks and alcohol alternatives.

The Committees are seeking expert input on these questions and do not require further submissions from respondents at this time. When proposals for rules and guidance have been through the established processes followed by CAP and BCAP, including Ofcom approval of any proposed rules for TV and radio advertising, a full evaluation of all responses will be provided together with the final proposals.

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