All Whisky Adverts To Display Responsible Drinking Message
19 Nov 2009
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) announced the tough new
measures today as part of the industry's ongoing commitment to
discourage the misuse of alcohol and help tackle Scotland's problem
The new requirement is part of a revised SWA Code of Practice
for the Responsible Marketing and Promotion of Scotch Whisky. The
Code's provisions have also been extended to apply to Scotch Whisky
adverts across the EU.
The SWA took the opportunity to re-affirm its support for the
majority of the forthcoming Scottish Alcohol Bill, including
measures to stop irresponsible promotions. The industry also
proposed that a ban on alcohol sales below tax (duty and VAT) to
prevent loss-leading would be an alternative and better floor price
mechanism than the Scottish Government's minimum price proposal. It
would ensure tax is passed on to the consumer.
Under the revised SWA Code, every Scotch Whisky industry
sponsorship is required to deliver an initiative that promotes
responsible alcohol consumption.
The SWA Code is recognised as best practice at EU level and
covers all commercial
communications. An Independent Complaints Panel can impose tough
sanctions on distillers - including fines and a 'name and shame'
policy - if the Code is breached. The ultimate sanction for
breaching the rules is expulsion from the SWA.
Gavin Hewitt, the SWA's Chief Executive, said:
"Scotch Whisky distillers are determined to tackle alcohol
misuse and support much of what is likely to be in the Scottish
Government's forthcoming Alcohol Bill.
"An even tougher SWA Code of Practice - with a responsible
drinking message in every Scotch Whisky advert - complements the
wide range of initiatives backed by the industry.
"The Code continues to be well used by SWA members seeking
advice on how to ensure compliance with its provisions. It is a
good example of how self-regulation can be an effective mechanism
as we work to change cultural attitudes to the misuse of
"We also believe a floor price mechanism to tackle loss-leading
could be introduced in the form of a ban on alcohol sales below
tax. This would be a better way forward than an illegal mechanism
such as minimum pricing."