Whyte & Mackay has launched a new GBP1m (US$1.7m) advertising campaign for its Vladivar vodka brand in the UK.

The company said today (16 October) that the adverts, which will run on billboards and in magazines, press, online and at point of sale, will focus on drinking in moderation.

The 'quality not quantity' campaign begins this Friday (18 October) and will run through to Christmas.

Vladivar said it was planning a series of spoof adverts designed to show what could happen when people drink too much. The first advert carries an image of a man and gorilla sleeping together in a zoo cage the morning after the night before.

"Past and existing responsible drinking campaigns have helped raise awareness about responsible drinking," said Vladivar's marketing director Nick Gaskin. "But we felt, and our research showed, that there was a role for humour in engaging drinkers in this important issue.

"We feel we are adding a new and different element to support Government, industry and others in getting the message across. We feel the quality over quantity message is a perfect fit for the brand and for a responsible consumption campaign like this."

Earlier this year, Whyte & Mackay, which was acquired by India's UB Group in May, said that pre-tax losses for the year to the end of September 2007 came in at around GBP2.2m (US$4.5m), an improvement on a loss of GBP3.4m in the corresponding period a year earlier. Sales for the 12-month period came in just under GBP161m, compared to GBP149m in 2004-2005.

Operating profits, meanwhile, were up to GBP13.1m against GBP11.6m a year earlier.