Portman Group CEO weighs in on ASA changes to low-alcohol marketing

The Portman Group has responded to the changes made this week by the Advertising Standards Authority to rules surrounding low-alcohol marketing, which now permit low-alcohol drinks to be advertised alongside higher-in-alcohol variants.

Matt Lambert, the regulator’s chief executive, said: “As a growing category it is important that consumers are educated about low-alcohol choices, and it is imperative that producers adhere to responsible advertising rules.

“We therefore welcome the amendment to the BCAP/CAP Codes to allow for responsible marketing of low-alcohol drinks.”

Prior to the amendment, low-alcohol beverages could not be advertised alongside standard alcohol drinks as it was deemed to run the risk of consumers opting for a drink based on its alcohol strength or intoxicating effect.

Now, the ASA has modified the BCAP/CAP Codes governing low-alcohol marketing to allow for a comparison between two beverages differing in alcohol content, as long as the alcohol content is stated clearly in the ad.

The ASA has asked various drinks businesses and organisations, including Alcohol Change UK, Heineken UK, and Portman Group, for their evaluations of the changes. All agreed with the changes.

Lambert added: “It is a testament to the alcohol industry that all responses to the consultation were supportive of the changes to allow low-alcohol products to be presented in a beneficial manner.

“This again highlights the industry’s commitment to the low-alcohol category, as well as helping to ensure low-alcohol products are advertised alongside standard-strength drinks and thereby provide consumers with greater choice.”


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