Diageo has hit back at criticism that its responsible drinking campaign, currently running on UK television, is actually glamourising excessive drinking.

The campaign, called 'The Choice is Yours' features drunk people ruining the night out of themselves and others, with the characters vomiting and fighting.

However, a study from the University of Bath, which has concluded that national alcohol policy needs to be overhauled because of the social character of drinking among young people, has brought this approach into question.

"Extreme inebriation is often seen as a source of personal esteem and social affirmation among young people," said the university's Professor Christine Griffin. "Not only does being in a friendship group legitimise being very drunk, being the subject of an extreme drinking story can raise esteem."

But in a statement, Diageo hit back saying: "In developing 'The Choice is Yours' campaign we carried out extensive research amongst 3,500 18 - 35 year olds across Europe to ensure we delivered a campaign that would resonate strongly with this age group. Bath University talked to 94 people.

"Our research - both qualitative and quantitative - showed that young adults were much more likely to consider drinking responsibly if they believed that by drinking excessively they would be in danger of losing their social credibility and standing - precisely the message our campaigns convey.

"Assessment of our previous responsible drinking work which explored the same themes - our 'Mirror' and 'Many Me' campaigns - showed that 71% of people were much more likely to consider drinking responsibly once they had been exposed to the adverts.

"Based on our extensive research, coupled with our experience of developing and delivering these campaigns over a number of years now, we are confident they have a proven positive effect.

"We're proud of our adverts. They are strategically sound, evidence based and not designed to simply grab headlines."