Drinks brands and sports bodies endorse first UK alcohol sponsorship code

John Smith's: used sponsorship of the Grand National to promote responsible drinking
John Smith's: used sponsorship of the Grand National to promote responsible drinking

The widest ever partnership of drinks companies, retailers, rights holders and representatives of sports, music and venues have signed up to a new code aimed at regulating all new alcohol sponsorship agreements in the UK.

Alcohol regulator Portman Group, which has helped draw up the new code, claimed it carried "clear sanctions" – both through the negative publicity drinks brands risk by breaching the code and the financial cost of having to renegotiate a sponsorship agreement or having to withdraw it completely.

The introduction of the code is designed to fend off calls by campaigners such as Alcohol Concern who would like to see a complete ban on alcohol sports sponsorship.

It is the first UK-wide alcohol sponsorship code and introduces a new and binding commitment for all drinks companies to promote responsible drinking through their sponsorship agreements.

Leading sports, arts and venues organisations have endorsed the code including AEG, British Horseracing, England and Wales Cricket Board, Football Association, Premier League and all the UK rugby bodies. 

Portman Group signatories including AB InBev, Pernod Ricard and Diageo are among those who have committed to promoting responsible drinking through their brand sponsorships.

AB InBev’s Stella Artois, which this morning announced its sponsorship of The Open Championship, will use an online tool to ensure that bar staff working at the golf major are trained in responsible service.

Diageo plans to educate rugby players about the short and long term effects of excessive drinking through its ‘DRINKiQ programme, while Pernod Ricard’s Jacob’s Creek sponsorship of Wimbledon will feature responsible drinking messages on promotional materials.

Henry Ashworth, chief executive of Portman Group, said: "This is another important gear change in partnership working to promote responsible drinking. Alcohol companies will have a binding commitment to promote responsible drinking – this represents an intelligent evolution of a highly respected Code and shows that we are constantly raising the bar when it comes to responsible alcohol marketing."

Public health minister, Jane Ellison MP, said the code would "help to make sure that alcohol is not promoted to anyone aged under eighteen".

"I am pleased to see strong support for the new Alcohol Sponsorship Code from industry, sport and music bodies," Ellison added.



Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Ex-Thomas Cook marketer Mike Hoban resurfaces at Morrisons
Barbour creates real-time illustrations of consumers' stories for summer campaign
Viral review: Samsung goes for Apple’s jugular but fails to connect
View from Brazil: why we didn't believe we could lose the World Cup
Heineken unveils ‘Open Your City’ drive with Metro for ‘men of the world’
Unilever continues portfolio 'reshaping' with Slim-Fast sale
Amazon to fight US authorities over in-app purchase claims
Google set to invest $100m in Europe's tech start-ups
Metcalfe's set to release quirky debut TV ad
Samsung pities the iPhone 'wall huggers'
Smirnoff campaign aims to make Formula One less elitist
Apple wins EU battle to register store layout as trademark
Marketing directors need to step outside 'marketing box' to earn seat on the board
Hottest virals: Burger King’s emotional gay pride Whopper ad, plus Apple and Guinness
Developer creates software enabling Google Glass mind-control
Kick-ass girl beats up shopping centre staff in music video
Top 10 ads of the week: Aldi's World Cup cider ad scores with consumers
Sony relives Germany's 7-1 victory against Brazil in Subbuteo Vine
Burberry credits 9% revenue hike on strong online sales and 'more targeted marketing'
Ritz returns to UK TV screens after 30-year hiatus
Mars creates chief health and wellbeing officer role
Brands make the most of Germany's dramatic victory over Brazil
Adios Justin King! Watch our video tribute as he leaves Sainsbury's after a decade
Nike calls time on 13-year Manchester United kit deal
Three TV ad banned over misleading 'free' call claims
GNM boss David Pemsel: 'The Guardian has got its mojo back'
M&S has missed a massive opportunity to put digital strategy at its heart
Google partners with the Barbican to show coders are artists
Samaritans encourages men to talk about issues with #DownNotOut campaign
Lego's partnership with Shell 'not awesome', according to Greenpeace viral