Spirits group, Allied Domecq, is taking the unilateral step of introducing responsible drinking messages on its advertisements. The move is designed to stave off criticism from public health and medical professionals and lobby groups and take a lead for the drinks industry as a whole.

The global policy has been devised by Allied Domecq's chief marketing officer, Kim Manley, along with chief executive Philip Bowman. Bowman was chairman of European drinks industry's social aspects organisation, The Amsterdam Group, for the last two years.

The first two campaigns which will include responsible drinking messages are the pan-European campaign for Ballantine's and the launch ads for the company's new liqueur brand, Tia Lusso. The Ballantine's tagline is "Go Play", with the accompanying message "Play better. Play in moderation", while Tia Lusso's slogan, "You just know", is complemented by the message, "You just know to drink in moderation".

Manley said he wanted Allied " to take a leadership position in the industry" with regard to alcohol abuse. He also said he hoped that taking action unilaterally would stave off more draconian legislation.