Alcohol advertising is often a sensitive topic. Societal concerns about alcohol, in particular problems such as binge and underage drinking, mean that it is rarely out of the headlines. With these issues high on the political agenda close scrutiny has been given to those factors that may influence the amount of alcohol we consume, and in response, the UK advertising rules for alcohol are amongst the strictest in the world.
The rules which apply to ads across all media place a particular emphasis on protecting young people. Alcohol ads must not be directed at people under 18 or contain anything that is likely to appeal to them by reflecting youth culture. Any individuals that feature in alcohol ads must be 25 years of age or over, and look it. There are also strict controls around the placement of alcohol ads and they are currently banned from appearing in and around programmes targeted at audiences below the age of 18 and programmes likely to appeal particularly to this age group.
The more general rules in place to protect consumers of all ages include: not linking the consumption of alcohol to increased popularity, sexual success, confidence, sporting achievements or mental performance; not portraying drinking alcohol as a challenge or with tough or daring behaviour; not encouraging people to adopt an unwise style of drinking such as binge drinking or showing it being served irresponsibly; not suggesting alcohol has therapeutic qualities or can help you overcome your problems.