UK: Allied moves to discourage ad regulation
Allied Domecq has made moves to combat calls for external advertising regulation. The group has established an independent advertising review board to improve industry standards in advertising and promotion for alcoholic beverages.
The board, consisting of three external experts and four internal senior members of staff, will meet quarterly to review and approve all company advertising and promotional materials globally across all the company brands.
The role of the board is to counsel the company on its planned marketing activities to ensure they are in full compliance with the letter and the spirit of the recently revised Allied Domecq Code of Marketing Practice. Aside from reviewing planned marketing activity the Board will also review external complaints or expressions of concern from interested parties including non-governmental organisations, competitors and consumers.
According to a report in the UK's Financial Times, the monitors have already persuaded Allied to ditch a sexually-suggestive advertisement proposed for Wet By Beefeater.
In a press release, Philip Bowman, chief executive of Allied Domecq, said: "As one of the largest beverage alcohol companies we have a fundamental responsibility to ensure our brands are promoted appropriately. Moderate consumption of alcohol for most people is part of a healthy life and it is important that our advertising and marketing reflect responsible and appropriate consumption. I am a strong believer that a continual improvement in advertising standards can only be brought about by individual companies demonstrating appropriate advertising, targeting adult consumers. Self regulation is the way forward and we anticipate that the establishment of an independent review Board provides a good model for improving standards across our industry."
The Allied Domecq Advertising Review Board consists of Jodie Bernstein, ex-consumer protection director of the US Federal Trade Commission; Hugh Burkitt, CEO UK Marketing Society and member of The Portman Group Review Panel; Jose Massaguer, lawyer, professor in law and chairman of the Second Chamber of the Jury on self regulation of advertising in Spain.
The internal appointments include Kim Manley, chief marketing officer; Stephen Whitehead, director of group corporate affairs, Jan Buckingham, director, group social & environment policy; Chris Swonger, senior vice president, corporate affairs, Allied Domecq Wine and Spirit USA.
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