The free reign over Alcohol Free/Low Alcohol advertising might not be so free anymore!
CAP and BCAP published their interim statement this week in regard to the alcohol alternatives consultation that took place between February and July 2022.
At present, the UK Advertising codes only include rules that prohibit condoning or encouraging immoderate, irresponsible or anti-social drinking.
Given the increasing popularity of alcohol alternatives, this led the regulating bodies CAP and BCAP to launch a consultation earlier this year to clarify how alcohol alternatives can be marketed responsibly.
To give you a quick recap, the proposals presented within the consultation included:
- Applying the rules relating to alcoholic drinks in full when alcohol alternatives are advertised within the marketing communication for an alcoholic drink.
- Marketing for alcohol alternatives with ABVs above 0% must include a prominent statement about their ABV.
- Marketing of alcoholic alternatives must not be directed at people under 18 or if more than 25% of the audience is under 18.
- Marketing must not encourage excessive consumption of alcohol or drinking.
- Marketing must not encourage the consumption of alcohol at times that are not considered to be appropriate.
Some of the responses received from the public about the consultation were highlighted in the interim statement. A few of these were:
- Further enquiries into ‘new drinking occasions’
- Enquires into whether pregnancy should be used in advertising for low/no alcohol products.
- General concerns as to whether shared branding between alcohol alternatives and full-strength alcoholic drinks should be moderated.
From a brand perspective, more potential regulations mean that companies need to take extra care with their Marketing Comms to ensure that they are compliant and to avoid any conflicts with the ASA.
This interim statement serves as a reminder to stay prepared for any regulatory changes in alcohol advertising. If/When the regulating bodies decide to push down hard on drinks companies, we need to understand how this will affect the brands we work with and Marketing Communications generally.
Keep an eye out for the full report which is due to come out in early 2023!