Running Responsible Pub Drinks Promotions (page 2)

The BBPA’s Top 10 Tips are:

1 Promotional activity can be run responsibly. Make sure you consider the Government’s Sensible Drinking Guidelines

The Government sensible drinking message was first published in “Sensible Drinking – The report of an Inter-Departmental Working Group” in December 1995. The current daily guidelines for sensible drinking:


3 – 4 units or less


2 – 3 units or less

 One UK unit contains 8 gms of ethanol and is found in:

 Half a pint of ordinary strength lager/beer/cider (3.5%abv)

 A 25ml pub measure of spirits (40%abv)

A small glass of table wine (9%abv)

2 Ensure that underage drinkers are not targeted, even unintentionally, by promotions, this is especially important if you run a child friendly or family venue.

3 Only place advertising in media where a majority of the audience can reasonably be expected to be over the legal purchase age. (for instance if you place an advert on your website or social networking site ensure it carries a disclaimer about under-age drinking)

4 Avoid using any promotional images, symbols or cartoon characters that appeal primarily to those under legal purchase age. They might add zest to your marketing material in certain circumstances (for instance a School Disco night).

5 Don’t condone or encourage excessive or irresponsible drinking or refer in any favourable manner to the effects of intoxication in any promotion.

6 Respect people who choose not to drink and offer them a reasonable choice of alternative products so that they can enjoy their visit to your outlet. In any event you should be offering drivers an alternative, say, on a cocktail night offer “mocktails” (mixed drinks without alcohol).

7 Focus on the broad product or promotional characteristics, giving factual information on the alcoholic strength of a drink. Giving this information may help your customers to make informed decisions. Strength should never be the dominant theme of any promotion or advertisement. For instance a cocktail night should concentrate on the flavours and not as a way to get drunk. Another way to use promotions might be “3 for 2” but not aimed at individuals but using the strap-line of “Share With Your Mates”; in this way you are highlighting the social aspect of sharing a drink not the over-consumption by a single customer.

8 Drinking and driving – where possible promote safe, reliable transportation alternatives within your venue. You could put a local taxi number/logo on any flyers or detail the times of buses that pass your venue.

9 Do not suggest that excessive alcohol consumption enhances sexual attractiveness or is a requirement for social acceptance. Similarly, do not suggest association with violence, anti-social behaviour, drug culture, or illegal drugs.

10 Promotions should not involve drinking games or speed incentives that require excessive quantities of alcohol to be consumed within a short time (avoid boat races or similar games). The focus instead should be on encouraging people to have a good time responsibly.

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