COMMENT: The friendly face of alcohol regulation
In response to a government interim report on alcohol harm reduction, the WSA has released its own recommendations. Unsurprisingly, it argues against the more drastic actions the government proposes. However, the WSA's less costly suggestions are nothing new. They require little effort on the part of the industry and it is likely that they will also have little effect.
In a move that should surprise no-one, the Wine and Spirit Association has, in response to the government strategic unit's interim report on alcohol harm reduction, dismissed any suggestion that alcohol advertising should be banned. However, the body was able to cite some good reasons why a ban would be ineffective.
The WSA pointed out that the French attempt to control alcohol consumption by banning alcohol advertising has failed to produce results: alcohol consumption has not fallen since the ban was in place. The association can also point to the mixed fortunes of different drinks markets: beer and spirits, which are heavily marketed and advertised, are seeing declining sales. Sales of wine, which sees comparatively little advertising, are growing rapidly.
The association also highlighted the dangers of taxing alcohol too highly; too high a tax could encourage the smuggling of cheap alcohol. According to the association, this alcohol will inevitably find its way to under-age drinkers.
However, rather than just point out the flaws in the government's reasoning, the WSA has produced its own plan for how the drinks industry and the government can work together to change the country's drinking culture. The WSA wants to create a more Mediterranean approach to drinking; one where people enjoy moderate but regular consumption and public drunkenness is frowned upon.
Other recommendations that the WSA has put to the government include the introduction of a national identity card scheme, actively promoting sensible drinking (following on from anti-drink driving adverts), and the voluntary labeling of drinks with their alcohol content in units. These suggestions are not terribly new and have been heard before. They may help to reduce alcohol consumption but their major advantage as far as drinks industry players are concerned is that their implementation requires very little effort or expenditure.
The global roll-out of InBev's Brazilian beer, Brahma, adds a third premium brand to the global brewer's international portfolio but some observers have suggested it's an unnecessary step which threat...
Brasserie Kronenbourg has clarified earlier reports about its entry into the low alcohol beer sector in France....
Costs relating to alcohol abuse in Sweden are on the rise, according to research out this week....
Police in eastern Kenya have said that at least 24 people died on Saturday after drinking illegally produced alcohol....
According to a recently published study, people who drink alcohol may have a lower risk of developing a type of cancer which affects the lymphatic system known as non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)....
Diageo is calling for facts labels to be placed on alcohol beverages in the US....
Kenyan authorities are to ban beer and spirits advertising from television and billboards in the country, according to a local report late last week....
Post-menopausal women who consume even moderate amounts of alcohol may face an increased risk of breast cancer, according to a comprehensive US study....
- The category today - Scotch Whisky I
- Today's Market Trends - Scotch Whisky II
- Industry is following the pack to patriotic party
- Key Brands Performance - Scotch Whisky IV
- Tomorrow's Market Trends - Scotch Whisky III
- Brown-Forman shuffles director pack
- Diageo unveils first European Johnnie Walker House
- Spirits can fill music industry gap - Jagermeister
- Diageo's Smirnoff Red, White & Berry - NPD
- Diageo to accept US$1m South Korea fine
- Global Scotch whisky insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global RTD insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Soft Drinks Global Overview: Growth Opportunities Between Category Lines
- Consumer and Market Insights: Wine Market in China
- Global travel retail insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends