Scientific research around the world conducted by governments, health agencies and universities has, over decades, been able to demonstrate a causal relationship between alcohol beverage advertising and alcohol consumption. It is, however, in alcohol industry's interest to demonstrate that effective alcohol campaigns only increase a producer's market share and also brand loyalty.
One area in which the alcohol industry have faced criticism and tightened legislation is in their alleged targeting of young people. Central to this is the development of alcopops – sweet-tasting, brightly coloured drinks with names that may appeal to a younger audience. However, numerous government and other reports have failed to support that allegation.
This article on alcohol advertising restrictions is implemented in each EU country largely through the self-regulatory bodies dealing with advertising.
The EU law 'TV without Frontiers' Directive is currently being revised to broaden the scope to new media formats such as digital television. Now called the 'Audiovisual Directive', the European Parliament is voting on the new text of the legislation in December 2006.
A number of non-governmental organisations working on alcohol policy have raised questions about whether the restrictions on alcohol advertising in Article 15 are effective and being properly implemented. For the Audiovisual Directive, they are calling on Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to vote for a ban on alcohol adverts on televisions before 9.00 p.m.
There have been various campaigns to help prevent alcoholism, under-age drinking and drunk driving. The Portman Group, an association of leading drinks producers in the UK, are responsible for various such campaigns. These include responsible drinking, drink driving (and designated drivers), Proof of Age cards. The Drink Aware campaign, for example, aims to educate people about how to drink sensibly and avoid binge drinking. The web site address is displayed as part of all of the adverts for products made by members of the group.
The Century Council, financially supported by a group of alcoholic beverage distillers in the United States, promotes responsible decision-making regarding drinking or non-drinking and works to reduce all forms of irresponsible consumption. Since its founding in 1991, it has invested over 175 million dollars in its programs.
Many campaigns by the alcoholic beverage industry that advocate responsible drinking presuppose that drinking for recreational purposes is a positive activity and reinforce this idea as an example of sensible consumption. Persons who believe alcohol can never simultaneously be used "sensibly" and recreationally would obviously disagree with the focus or direction of these campaigns.
Alcohol advertising is common in motor racing competitions, and is particularly prominent in NASCAR racing. One major example of this was the Busch Series (since renamed Nationwide Series), sponsored by a brand of beer sold by Anheuser-Busch. That sponsorship, which started in the series' conversion from a national Late Model Sportsman races around the country to the present touring format in 1982, ended after 2007.
Furthermore, NASCAR mandates drivers under 21 not be permitted to wear any alcohol-branded sticker on their cars. In cases with below drinking age drivers, a specialised "Coors Pole Award - 21 Means 21" sticker is placed on such drivers' cars. One team, Petty Enterprises, refuses to participate in alcohol advertising and forfeits all alcohol monies and bonuses.
For distilled spirits, teams must run a responsible drinking sticker clearly visible on the car. For Jack Daniel's, the theme is "Pace Yourself, Drink Responsibly", and includes on NASCAR's Web site a waving yellow flag warning drinkers. For Crown Royal, the television ads feature the car with the slogan "Be a champion, Drink Responsibly" and it acting as a pace car to drivers, warning them of responsibility. Jim Beam has radio ads and NASCAR mandated statements about alcohol control. None of the three, however, is a full-time sponsor, as they alternate sponsorship with other products unrelated to their firm on the car. (Jim Beam's parent, Fortune Brands, sometimes has its Moen Faucets replace Jim Beam on the car in selected races.)
Although tobacco companies have been the main source of financial backing in Formula One, some alcohol brands have also been associated with the sport. For example, Budweiser appears on the WilliamsF1 car and the Foster's Group (with the Foster's Lager brand) sponsor numerous circuits around the world, most notably Fosters Australian Grand Prix in Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia. Becks had been Jaguar's sponsor. Johnnie Walker has sponsored McLaren since 2006.
Anheuser-Busch, being a conglomerate with non-alcoholic properties, complies with the French alcohol advertising ban in Formula One by placing their Busch Entertainment theme park logos (mostly Sea World) where their Budweiser logo would appear on the WilliamsF1 car at races where alcohol advertising is banned and in Middle Eastern countries, where alcohol advertising is discouraged. Few companies, however, added responsible drinking campaigns with their sponsorship, notably the 1989-90 BTCC Ford Sierra RS500 of Tim Harvey and Lawrence Bristow, which was sponsored by Labatt. Throughout the two seasons, the car bore a "Please Don't Drink and Drive" message.
Some stadiums, particularly in the U.S., bear the names of breweries or beer brands via naming rights arrangements, such as Busch Stadium, Coors Field, and Miller Park; those three venues are all in or near the cities of their headquarters.
Diageo are a major sponsor of many sporting events through their various brands. For example, Johnnie Walker sponsor the Championship at Gleneagles and Classic golf tournaments along with the Team McLaren Formula One car.
Cricket is a sport with a large amount of alcohol sponsorship. The 2005 Ashes, for example, featured sponsorship hoardings by brands such as Red Stripe, Thwaites Lancaster Bomber and Wolf Blass wines.
Rugby union also has a substantial amount of alcohol sponsorship. The All Blacks feature Steinlager sponsorship prominently. The Scotland national team has a long-established relationship with The Famous Grouse, a brand of Scotch whisky. Wales has a more recent relationship with the Brains brewery, and the Springboks of South Africa agreed for South African Breweries to put the Castle Lager brand on their shirt until 2004. Magners is the title sponsor of the Magners League, the top competition in Ireland, Scotland and Wales,Guinness is the title sponsor of the Guinness Premiership, the top competition in England, and the beer brand Tooheys New was the Australian sponsor of the Southern Hemisphere Super 14 competition through the 2006 season. Bundaberg Rum is one of the sponsors of the Australia national rugby union team.
Guinness' iconic stature can be attributed in part to its advertising campaigns. One of the most notable and recognizable series of adverts was created by Benson's advertising, primarily John Gilroy, in the 1930s and 40s. Gilroy was responsible for creating posters which included such phrases such as "Guinness for Strength", "It's a Lovely Day for a Guinness", and, most famously, "Guinness is Good For You". The posters featured Gilroy's distinctive artwork and more often than not featured animals such as a kangaroo, ostrich, seal, lion, and notably a toucan, which has become as much a symbol of Guinness as the Trinity College Harp. Another famous campaign more recently is the surfer ad on the television. Regarded by many as the most successful and amazingly produced TV ad of all time, it's cinematography and underlying message of the fact that patience is a good thing (good things come to those who wait) contribute to the imagination and creativity of the ad. Guinness advertising paraphernalia attracts high prices on the collectible market.
In a campaign reminiscent of viral marketing techniques, one advert quickly appeared as a screensaver distributed over the Internet. It was a simple concept, featuring Dublin actor Joe McKinney dancing around the drink while it was given time to settle. The accompanying music (mambo tune Guaglione by Pérez Prado) was released as a single and reached number one on the Irish charts and number two on the UK charts in May 1995.
In Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong, Guinness launched a $8 million advertising campaign using the fictional character of Adam King to promote the embodiment of Guinness as a man could be incredibly powerful. The advertising campaign was handled by notable advertising firm, Saatchi & Saatchi.
Today, Guinness' principal television campaign in North America consists of limited animation commercials featuring two eccentric scientists in 19th century dress complimenting one another's ideas as "brilliant!"
Alcohol Advertising and Youth: A Focus-Group Analysis of What Young People Find Appealing in Alcohol Advertising
Jan 01, 2001; In an effort to ascertain how youths interpret, understand and respond to the themes and images portrayed in television alcohol...