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Home arrow Market Research Findings arrow Alcoholic Drinks arrow UK Drinks Legislation - What The Industry Really Thinks
UK Drinks Legislation - What The Industry Really Thinks PDF Print E-mail
Written by Euromonitor International   
15 May 2005

UK Drinks Legislation - What The Industry Really Thinks, by Euromonitor International

New research on the future of the UK’s alcoholic drinks industry was launched at the London International Wine & Spirits Fair (17-19 May 2005) last week. Brintex, organisers of the Fair, asked market analyst Euromonitor International to deliver an independent report on the effects of extended opening hours, a smoking ban and tightening advertising legislation on the UK drinks industry.

Leading industry representatives, including Adrian McKeon, Managing Director, Allied Domecq Wines and Alex Anson, Trading Director, Thresher Group, offered their views on Euromonitor’s findings in a lively debate on the major issues facing the industry today.

Extended opening hours
Euromonitor believes that this will not prevent binge drinking and that the on-trade needs to take proactive responsibility

"This is about flexible licensing laws, not 24 hour drinking. Enforcement is key, but it won’t eradicate drink-related problems, which are a social and attitudinal issue. As for the idea that Britain will adopt a continental drinking culture, it’s a bit of a joke."
Adrian McKeon, Managing Director, Allied Domecq Wines

"Bars and restaurants need to take responsibility for managing the exiting of people at key times. In rural areas, they could arrange for people to be driven home, as they do in parts of France. This takes the bounce out of the bouncers and gives them a new role of respect and responsibility."
Pamela Gregory, Consultant Buyer, Mitchells & Butlers

"The trade has been very slow to respond to criticism of its on-trade promotional activity. The danger now is that each local authority will impose its own description of what constitutes an irresponsible promotion, making nationwide promotions extremely difficult. This means that the trade will have to abide by the strictest criteria laid down by the strictest local authority, which they might feel is very limiting."
David Poley, Director of compliance and good practice, The Portman Group

"Binge drinking is not the whole story. The government accepts that most people drink responsibly and 24 hour opening hours is a reward for these people. There is an opportunity for the trade to benefit from these new freedoms."
Mike Paul, Managing Director, Western Wines

"Competition from the multiple grocers is not a new challenge for the off-licence sector. We are already under pressure from other issues and don’t anticipate any radical impact over and above this. 24 hour opening by the multiples addresses a consumer need and everyone stands to benefit, but there are geographical and cost implications - it won’t work for everyone."
Alex Anson, Trading Director, Thresher Group

Drinks advertising
Euromonitor believes that the industry must take heed or face more restrictive legislation in the near future

"There is no real comparison to be made with the ban on tobacco advertising. The tobacco advertising rules were much stricter, not allowing companies to portray tobacco as attractive in any way whatsoever. Drinks companies will still be able to promote their products as enjoyable, sociable and attractive, as long as they don’t encourage or portray misuse."
David Poley, Director of compliance and good practice, The Portman Group

"We’ve been very lucky. These rules could have been much tougher. Wine is advertised much less broadly and has tended not to target 18-25 year olds, but this is changing. I really do hope that we behave responsibly in future and don’t get carried away by the lure of short-term profit. As far as using the alleged health benefits of wine as a promotional message, this is dangerous as the research is not definitive. The future lies in our own hands, we are in a good position and we must be careful not to abuse it."
Mike Paul, Managing Director, Western Wines

"Drinks companies need to be aware that umbrella advertising won’t work. There are no real synergies between the UK’s drinking culture and that in other countries."
Pamela Gregory, Consultant Buyer, Mitchells & Butlers

"The UK is in between Northern Europe, in particular Scandinavia, and the Mediterranean countries in terms of its drinking culture. This makes it more complex but also more balanced. The onus is therefore on alcohol companies to get it exactly right. If they don’t, then a total government ban on alcohol advertising in the UK can’t be ruled out."
Adrian McKeon, Managing Director, Allied Domecq Wines

Smoking ban
Euromonitor believes that a smoking ban is inevitable and that pubs need to get ahead of the game sooner rather than later

"Trying to accommodate smokers is not sustainable in the long-term. Nobody wants a return to old-style pubs and the risk of losing smoking customers in the short term is outweighed by the longer-term benefits of having cleaner, more pleasant drinking and eating environments."
Pamela Gregory, Consultant Buyer, Mitchells & Butlers

"If an outright ban on smoking is inevitable, then pubs need to get ahead of the game and start setting trends. I think this will happen much quicker than we think."
Adrian McKeon, Managing Director, Allied Domecq Wines

"The smoking ban can only accelerate the current move of wine sales from on-trade to off-trade. This will be seen in off licences rather than multiples."
Alex Anson, Trading Director, Thresher Group

Please visit Euromonitor International for more information

Last Updated ( 21 Sep 2011 )
 
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