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Responsible Marketing

Responsible Marketing
The Scotch Whisky industry takes very seriously its commitment to marketing its products to consumers in a responsible way. The industry has developed a Code of Practice setting out minimum standards for the marketing and promotion of Scotch Whisky brands in the UK and abroad.

The Code of Practice covers all commercial communications by members. This includes advertising, promotional materials and sponsorship. It applies in the UK and also abroad in export markets where stricter national codes do not exist.

The Code of Practice is a condition of membership for all members of the SWA. It is backed by an Independent Complaints Panel that has a range of sanctions at its disposal if members breach the Code. 

The Code is kept under regular review so that it keeps paces with changes in new marketing techniques and technologies. 

How to make a complaint

The Code of Practice includes a complaints procedure. Anyone who has concerns about Scotch Whisky marketing or promotion should, in the first instance, write to: 

Head of Alcohol Policy

The Scotch Whisky Association

Quartermile Two, 2 Lister Square


EH3 9GL 

Or email:

Independent Complaints Panel Members

Dame Anne McGuire (Chair)

Rt Hon Anne McGuire, DBE, served as MP for Stirling between 1997 and 2015.

She was Government Whip, 1998-2002, Scotland Office Minister 2002-2005 and Minister for Disabled People 2005-2008. She was made a Privy Councillor in 2008.  After 2010, she became Private Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband, and then served on the Shadow DWP team. She was also a member of the Public Accounts Committee for 3 years during 2010 -2015. 

She was awarded a DBE in 2015 and in 2018 received an Honorary Degree from Stirling University.


Catherine Waller

Catherine is a multisector, omnichannel Marketing professional, Board Advisor and Non-Executive Director.

She spent her early career at Tesco where she led development of the world’s largest loyalty scheme; and is now an expert to UK and International organisations on Big Data, Customer Insight, CX, CRM and Customer Journeys. Catherine has overseen the strategic development of some of the UK’s largest brands, delivering growth and consumer advocacy across established and start-up ventures.


Paul Neep

Paul’s career has primarily been in the international drinks industry. He was the CEO of The Glenmorangie Company for 14 years; eight years as Glenmorangie Plc and six as part of the LVMH Group. He then spent a further period as Non-Executive Chairman, stepping down in 2015.

His earlier career includes marketing directorships at  Forte Plc and with United Distillers (now Diageo). Paul was the Senior Non-Executive Director at Devro Plc for 12 years and currently holds Non Executive position in two other companies.

ICP Chair Dame Anne McGuire

ICP Chair Dame Anne McGuire

Responsible Marketing news & commentary

29 July 2020

Commitment to Responsibility: SWA publishes revised Industry Marketing Code

The SWA has published the latest edition of its Code of Practice for Responsible Marketing.

28 April 2020

Scotch Whisky Action Fund announces further support to projects across Scotland

The Scotch Whisky Action Fund awards funding to initiatives across Scotland working to reduce alcohol-related harm - four projects have been awarded continuity funding for 2020-21.

26 February 2020

Industry action to help reduce alcohol harm is showcased at Holyrood event

The Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership (SAIP) held an event at the Scottish Parliament this week, sponsored by Miles Briggs MSP, and aimed at showcasing how the industry is tackling alcohol harm.

14 November 2019

Scotch Whisky Action Fund Commits Support to Six New Projects in Scotland

The Scotch Whisky Action Fund has announced the six projects across Scotland that it will be supporting in the coming year.

23 October 2019

Organisations come together for Scotch Whisky Action Fund learning event

The SWA has this week hosted a learning event featuring projects that received support from the Scotch Whisky Action Fund, which aims to tackle the effects of alcohol misuse.

22 August 2019

Scotch Whisky Action Fund pledges further support for innovative projects

The Scotch Whisky Action Fund, set up in 2013, has pledged a further year's support for two projects that each received funding in 2018: Bright Light's Families in Recovery, and Waverley Care's SX initiative.

Responsible Marketing publications

14 January 2021

Scotch Whisky Action Fund: 5 year Impact Report

Read more about the Scotch Whisky Action Fund's first five years.

27 July 2020

Matured to be Enjoyed Responsibly - latest edition (July 2020)

This latest report is a snapshot of the activities being undertaken by the SWA and member companies to promote responsible consumption of alcohol, and supporting initiatives to tackle misuse.

07 July 2020

Code of Practice: 4th Edition

The Code of Practice covers all commercial communications by members. This includes advertising, promotional materials and sponsorship. The 4th edition was published in July 2020.