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Analysis of Alcohol Advertising in the UK

Info: 2053 words (8 pages) Essay
Published: 23rd Jan 2018 in Health

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Advertising for the UK alcoholic sector has gained far stricter guidelines and regulations over the last few decades. Do you agree that the advertising of alcohol should be restricted to such an extent and how far do you believe any governments should be able to control advertising?


According to this essay, the controling in alcoholic advertising by government will be examined. In past few years, the alcoholic advertising became more and more stricter in Britain, also the government had been established more guidelines and regulations. The essay will be divided into three main parts. First, the background of advertisig of UK should be introduced. Second, the arguments for the government should or shouldn’t be restricted will be discussed, it will be explained that why the alcoholic advertising should be constrained. Then, how much should the government be involved in advertising will be suggested, and the reasons of any governments should try them best to control some types of advertising will be listed.

Main Body

And these actions may bring about intense reactions in society of UK, some groups like alcohol manufacturers and alcohol beverage sellers will disagree the release of these regulations and guidelines. But most people agree that the advertising of alcoholic beverage should be restrained.

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First of all, the background of advertisement of UK should be introduced, it can be divided into many types, including TV advertisements, radio advertisements, advertisements on newspapers or journals and so on. As for the supervision of advertisements, it includes the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre(BACC), TV operators and Advertising Standards Authority(ASA). And in TV ads in UK, alcohol products advertising occupy the quite large percent, so there are so many rules to restrict those ads, for instance, the new ads rules clearly indicate that the alcohol ads can not have the contents of seducing youngsters to drink alcohol or alcohol abuse, and those ads which have connection with alcohol and sex also should be forbidden. And these such restrict rules continue to expand space, and Code of Advertising Standards of Behaviour points out that those young sports celebrities, pets and even cartoon characters should not be in the ads of alcohol beverages.(Leng, 2005).

Every coin has it two sides. Some people think government shouldn’t be restricted in advertising, likes some groups or corporations, which involve in the relevant alcohol beverages manufacturing and selling activities, because these rules and regulations will make them lose profits. But most of people agree with that the culture of drinking in UK is ingrained. Too much alcoholic advertising would result in cut-throat competition. There has a long history about the tradition of drinking culture, and pubs can be seen everywhere. The popularity of social media even promote the intrusive of alcoholic advertisements, nowdays, the advertisement plays an significant roles in many aspects in our lives, it effects the consumer psychology, which could stimulate consumers to purchase their products through these advertisements, especially those young people are impulsive, they can be easily seduced to purchase products like alcoholic beverage. The children about 10 and 11-year-olds are more likely to recognize Carlsberg lager than Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and they’re more familiar with fictional characters in a Foster’s beer commercial than with those from an ad for Cadbury chocolate. Alcohol is linked to a 25% increase in liver deaths in the past decade, and binge-drinking has become a problem for the middle-aged and middle-class as well as for out-of-control youth (HALL and EMMA, 2012).

In a report on the government’s alcohol strategy, the MPs said wider measures could be implemented in Britain that would ban all alcohol advertising on television, in cinemas and of sports events. (Rebecca Smith, 2012)

the alcohol will bring more damage to mental and physical of human being, especially the behaviour of alcohol abuse will have great impact on people and the social security also will become more unstable.

according to the statement of British Home Secretary Theresa May, taxpayers have to pay 21 billions pounds for drunkenness hazard a year, and one of the main reasons of that is the ads of alcohol beverage (?????, 2014).

Henry Ashworth, Chief Executive of the Portman Group, said: UK drinks producers and retailers have a strong track record in delivering programmes of voluntary activity to support government in tackling anti-social behaviour caused by alcohol misuse. These can help avoid any cut-throat competition.

Obviously, according to the trend of the times and the desire of the people, the alcohol beverage advertising will be restricted far, and more rules and regulations will be issued to restrained that.

As to whether any government should be able to control the advertising, the answer is “yes” to some extent, and it should depend on the particular industry advertising, for instance, the tobacco and alcohol industries advertising which could trigger the bad effects to the society should be banned or restricted, and government should establish more detailed rules and regulations to constrain the illegal or inappropriate contents of advertising. And as to the fast development of economy and technology, the types of advertising become more diversification, like TV shopping. As the background of UK advertising supervision structure mentioned before, it is good example for other countries, especially for China, because it has three institutions to supervise the advertising, respectively are revising, improving “The Independent Television Commission standards of conduct for the advertising industry guidelines”, and then BACC will examine the advertising copy, after the broadcast of advertising, Advertising Standards Authority will monitor the reaction of society, deciding whether it should be off the air or not. For instance, as to China, because the lack of advertising monitoring system, leading to current situation of advertising which is disorder competition, there are some suggestions, the first is that developing the standards of advertising enterprises qualification, and second is that developing standards of advertising employees qualification. On the whole, China should strengthen the macro-control of the advertising industry, creating more healthy, harmony and sustainable environment of advertising. (Bi, 2010)


To sum up, the British have traditional drinking habits, which can bring more disadvantages, such as unsafe living condition and alcohol is bad for healthy. Any government should control the some types of advertising industry, which is bad for our bodies or bring terrible influence, and also promote some types of advertising, which could improve the international competitiveness and enhance the culture connotation. Given this, it can be concluded that this essay has shown the opinion about government in UK should restrict to the alcoholic advertising, any government should control the advertising industry appropriately.


Advertising Age. /2012, Vol. 83 Issue 17, p9-9. 1/2p. HALL, EMMA SOBERING UP THE U.K. PROVES DIFFICULT.

Alcohol Alcohol. 2009 May-Jun;44(3):229-43. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agn115. Epub 2009 Jan 14.

Impact of alcohol advertising and media exposure on adolescent alcohol use: a systematic review of longitudinal studies.

Anderson P1, de Bruijn A, Angus K, Gordon R, Hastings G.

Eur J Public Health. 2014 Aug;24(4):561-5. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/cku060. Epub 2014 May 21.

Youth exposure to alcohol advertising on television in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany.

Patil S1, Winpenny EM1, Elliott MN2, Rohr C1, Nolte E3.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9408380/Ban-on-alcohol-adverts-should-be-considered-MPs.html By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor

7:00AM BST 19 Jul 2012 Ban on alcohol adverts should be considered: MPs

Health Committee – The Government’s Alcohol StrategyWritten evidence from The Advertising Association (GAS 52) 2012


Alcohol industry takes action to tackle irresponsible drinking


Home Office, Department of Health, The Rt Hon Norman Baker MP, Jane Ellison MP, The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP and The Rt Hon Theresa May MP


Published 8 July 2014

Part of:

Reducing harmful drinking, Controlling the sale and supply of alcohol,Crime and policing, National Health Service and Public health

Bi, B. (2010), What should the Government do for China’s advertising industry, [online] Available at: < http://business.sohu.com/20060704/n244085921.shtml>

[ Accessed 22nd July 2014]


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