Alcohol Advertisement - Is it Ethically and Socially Responsible?


Alcohol is a “depressant” consumed by people for many generations for enjoyment but its effects ranging from hangover to destruction has brought adolescents under enormous threat. With 40,000 deaths annually in the United Kingdom (drinkaware, 2009), it has now become a matter of concern. The magnetic effect of alcohol advertisement has brought experts together

To understand the primary role played by alcohol advertisement. The objective of this research paper is to understand the role played by alcohol advertisement through researching and finding the answer to two very important questions - is alcohol advertisement socially and ethically viable enough to follow the voluntary codes set up? And is alcohol advertisement responsible for encouraging alcohol consumption in adolescents? To achieve these objectives research was conducted based on primary and secondary data, collated through taking a quantitative and qualitative approach. In order to reach a conclusion regarding alcohol advertisement and to find the answer to the above two questions; views of members of the general public residing in the U.K, in the form of surveys and observations, were taken and most importantly secondary data was gathered, which involved past research and opinions of experts. Research has found that alcohol advertisements do follow voluntary codes setup by ASA but these advertisements are still capable of encouraging adolescents to drink more alcohol. This is achieved through using different marketing and promotional techniques, which involve sports sponsorship and performing promotional activities. Alcohol advertisements have encouraged adolescents and the wider society to drink alcohol by avoiding the damage created by alcohol in the roots of the United Kingdom. In addition to alcohol advertisements, other factors can also contribute to increased alcohol consumption such as parental effects and peer effects, which can psychologically influence the youth to drink alcohol. Today, the alcohol industry has made huge investments in its marketing activities, but the illusion created by these marketing strategies in the brain of the society has created a negative impact on future generations. This illusion is responsible for sexual harassment, alcohol abuse, mental disorder, and health at risk.

Chapter 1


Alcohol advertisement is never out of the public eye; it has been creating news for centuries but has never been truly appreciated due to the negative effect of alcohol and its contribution to many social issues, such as abuse, unconscious behavior, and sexual harassment. United Kingdom is listed as one of the countries with the highest consumption of alcohol, a cause for 33000 deaths annually in the United Kingdom (drinkaware, 2009). One of the causes contributing to the high death rates and social issues in the UK and around the world is alcohol advertisement. The purpose of an advertisement is to create demand for a product, but today it has flipped the whole concept of selling into criticism, especially when it comes to alcohol. Besides selling just brand, it`s being charged for encouraging drinking and shifting consumers needs into wants.

With a drift towards the encouragement of alcohol consumption through alcohol advertisements, experts have been brought together to bring justification to society in the form of providing critics and advocates. Some people take the view that alcohol consumption is a personal choice so, how can advertisement influence a person’s choice to drink? However, some do accept that alcohol advertisement has it`s hand in encouraging alcohol consumption in youth. These contrasting opinions and views of experts are very much a part of this research paper and will help in solving the dilemma, which has been running through generations. Is alcohol advertisement ethically and socially responsible? This one issue has thousands of answers wrapped within it, which are still waiting to be answered! Alcohol industry is investing approximately 600 to 800 million pounds in advertisements to make their approach more powerful in the context of communication (Hasting, 2009). This has turned into a matter of concern, as this approach to communication is more focused and targeted towards the youth residing in the UK. Youth are new players in the alcohol industry, and their misunderstanding of what responsible drinking means, is being used as an advantage by the industry. The cultural trend of alcohol consumption in the UK has turned into a cultural shock due to irresponsible and excessive drinking, which has resulted in adverse health issues and social consequences.

Should we blame alcohol advertisement for encouraging drinking? Or is it just an illusion created by us? These are the major issues which are revolving experts, professionals, and communicators around it with different opinions. In order to find the answers, detailed research has been conducted, based on a qualitative and quantitative approach towards understanding the depth of the issue. Furthermore, research regarding the following and understanding of people’s responsibility towards alcohol marketing and the solutions to help overcome these problems have been conducted. Every coin has two sides and so does alcohol advertisement. Different points of view exist between the general public of the United Kingdom and the experts, with a compact combination of discussions taking place, which bring together information from primary and secondary data collected. The purpose of marketing has been misused by the alcohol industry by encouraging increased drinking more so than the selling of alcohol. The concept of branding has created an illusion in the minds of consumers, for many generations. There are many arguments that exist between alcohol representatives and social workers, who want to create a protective shield for the society.

So, through an overview of my research, this report highlights a different viewpoint which reaches the same objective. This research paper hold answers to the following questions - “Does the alcohol industry follows voluntary codes in their alcohol advertisements?” and “Does alcohol advertisement encourage drinking in society?” In order to bring about a solution to this social issue, all the possible fields have been glanced over. Billions of pounds have been spent on alcohol advertisement but in response, how much effort is put in socially and ethically? Who should really be blamed? No one knows, but thousand of researchers, experts, medical organizations and social workers have worked hard enough to find the answers to these questions. However, everyone has a different direction and way to find out. To understand this issue, a lot of research and surveys have taken place with money also spent but, still no one knows what else could be done to impede this damage, which will have a shadow over future generations, who are under an illusion built by alcohol marketing. So, with the restricted reach, the research is conducted to understand the actual role played by alcohol advertisement on society and what other measures can be taken. Despite the fact that marketing can connect the world together and show the reality of every entity present on this world, it has given a variety of reasons for being dishonest. “The function and practice of marketing has been criticised because it is claimed that it deliberately creates partial truths about products and services and exploits the fears and weaknesses of fellow human beings”(Drunker, 2009).


When we start with marketing research, it`s important to know the symptom, which helps us reach a management problem. The following symptoms will help to better understand the depth of the problem we have and how it eagerly needs a solution.

1. About 10 million people in England drink above the guidelines.

2. UK has one of the highest rates of binge drinking in Europe.

3. Up to 1 in 3 adult is at risk of lever disease due to alcohol consumption.

4. 33,000 deaths in UK due to alcohol. (drinkaware,2009)

These are just some of the symptoms but the problem is “ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION”, which is one of the major causes of many social disasters. There are various factors involved in the encouragement of alcohol consumption. This starts from marketing, sports sponsorships, TV advertisement, movies and brands which reflect the cultural trend of the UK. Factors like alcohol advertisement have combined with parental influence and peer influence to provide a different definition of enjoying alcohol. Today, alcohol advertisement alongside the promotional techniques involved in selling alcohol are more interested in asking people to drink more alcohol even after knowing how much misjudgement there is on alcohol consumption. Research has established that alcohol advertising, such as that for tobacco and fast food influences behaviour. It encourages young people to drink alcohol sooner and in greater quantities. (Anderson P, 2009 et al, Booth A, 2008, Smith LA, Fox croft DR, 2009) So, this brings to light two major issues which have been taken care of, Does alcohol advertisement follow its social and ethical responsibilities by following the voluntary codes set up by United Kingdom? And the reason for which these restrictions are made on alcohol advertisement, which is sending a wrong message, of encouraging alcohol advertisement does have a real story. Yes another problem is does alcohol advertisement encourage drinking?

If we look into the past and present problems highlighted by experts, advertising standards authority and self regulator of advertising across all media in the UK, there records state that last year they received over 26,000 complaints which seemed to be due to a breach of the rules. As a result, nearly 2,500 ads were changed or withdrawn in 2008, thanks to a range of effective sanctions at our disposal and the cooperation of advertisers who respected the decisions (ASA, 2008). On the other hand, the British medical Association says “Alcohol consumption in the UK has increased rapidly in recent years, not just among young people, but across society. The population is drinking in increasingly harmful ways and the result is a range of avoidable medical, psychological and social harm, damaged lives and early deaths. As consumption has increased, the market for alcohol has grown substantially. This has been driven by vast promotional and marketing campaigns with the UK alcohol industry spending approximately £800m annually” (Hudson.F, 2009). There are thousands of problems which have been raised due to alcohol advertisement affects, not only within the youth but also people of the UK too. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (Nice) has said the government should consider a complete ban on alcohol advertising in order to stop underage and binge drinking (Bold, 2010).

Every advertisement is designed to reach out to an audience with a positive message behind the product but to my understanding, alcohol advertisement is picking an erroneous approach to marketing, resulting in an increase in alcohol consumption. The reasons for enjoying alcohol are offered in huge numbers but there is no sign of relaying the consequences. It`s important to clear the illusion created in the head of adolescents, so future generations of the United Kingdom can be protected.

Need Help with your dissertation?

Why not order a custom dissertation that fits your exact requirements and grade needs?

At UK Dissertations we offer a range of services to help you get ahead in your studies.

Find out more today


The main aim of this research paper is to understand the role played by alcohol advertisement on the wider society of the United Kingdom. Controversy surrounding alcohol advertisement is not about the creativity of the advert but the illusion created about alcohol consumption; fun, excitement; freedom; prestige. These mantras are used behind alcohol marketing, but the harmful consequences are hidden. Marketing research is a process which encounters the problem and identifies its ingredient to fill a gap. Alcohol advertisements are always surrounded with restrictions, however the outcome is not effective; but why? The two important objectives to understand alcohol advertisement impacts are; is alcohol advertisement ethically and socially responsible? And is alcohol advertisement really to be blamed for encouraging drinking in society? The issue is very subjective and so in order to understand the depth of alcohol advertisement; the research has been directed through a qualitative and quantitative approach. Besides, just blaming alcohol advertisement for encouraging alcohol consumption is not good enough. As a result, the other causes for encouraging alcohol consumption have been summarized. With records of past experiment and researches on consequences of alcohol advertisement on adolescents, this research paper highlights a strong approach towards alcohol marketing.

Legal restrictions are just an effortless hurdle for the alcohol industry, to ensure safety and to frame the reputation and status of a company as a “corporate social responsibility” one, which is today another form of marketing. The consequences of alcohol are making headlines today with, sexual harassment to drink and drive deaths on top of the list. These damages have never been recovered; so the research paper has one main focus on the social responsibility of the alcohol industry? Does alcohol industry follow all the voluntary codes setup by the ASA, and that to, at a level where the encouragement of drinking can be prevented, and even if these rules and regulations are taken care of, is it still affecting alcohol consumption in the society? One other question that needs to be answered is how the alcohol industries can sell their product with so much success and how are they managing to attract the youth and other people for drinking? With all the hidden theory applied by the alcohol industry in promoting their product “ALCOHOL”, an explanation is needed about how every profit they earn has come at the price of destroying thousands of lives. So this research paper contains a counter strike of blame on the alcohol industry for their social and ethical responsibility.


There are many techniques and methods that can be adopted for conducting research but choosing the right one with a requirement for the issue in hand, is the significant decision. This research is in the form of primary and secondary data which is based on a qualitative and quantitative approach, to find a conclusion to the two issues surrounding alcohol advertisement which are very wide and subjective.

Is alcohol advertisement socially and ethically responsible? This has nothing to do with what people think because there is no limit to ethics in terms of boundaries, it’s a self made decision which provides self realisation. To find an answer, both primary data and secondary data were applied in the form of an observation, which led me to understand each alcohol advertisement – i.e. what are the concepts they use to sell their brand and to approach people in the U.K. Everyone has a different way of understanding a subject they work on, but my observation helped me to learn the part played by alcohol advertisement on society and how this relationship is built between populations and a bunch of advertisements. It`s just a matter of communication which has different designs to connect. Other than my observation, secondary data, journals and past data were also used. Advertisement Standard Authority has played a role in providing a conclusion to this one particular question.

Another measurable part of the research was solved by quantitative research in the form of surveys and of course by secondary data contributed by experts in the past. The main portion of the research is based on the following question “do alcohol advertisements encourage alcohol consumption?” with the assistance of a survey, which is a scientific approach towards understanding a series of questions and the mind sets of people towards alcohol and alcohol advertisement. Survey is very much a form of creativity, which allows us to assess the participant’s psychological behaviour towards the issue. The connection between an attitude and the belief of each participant provides a clear vision towards alcohol advertisement.




What ASA wants to say?

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the UK's independent regulator of advertising across all media, including TV, internet, sales promotions and direct marketing. A recent survey conducted by ASA to ensure the alcohol advertisement are following alcohol advertising codes in 2008 – 2009 before December, during the period before Christmas the ASA`s compliance team supervised and assessed all the alcohol advertisements with all the content being used for promotion of alcohol across all the media from 1 to 24 December. The survey showed a very mush positive result, out of 307 alcohol advertisements which were monitored only one of them was contempt for breach of CAP code; and none of the advertisement breached BCAP codes. With overall conformity are of 99.7% and reveal an improvement year to year over 2007 and 2008 survey which were conducted before by ASA in a row, which is compliance rate of 97.4%(2007) and 98.9% (2008) were verified.

The data projected by ASA shows:


NO. of ads

NO. of breaches

Compliance rate of media





















(Source by ASA) 2008 – 2009

“According to ASA alcohol industry is the alcohol ads picked up in the survey sample between 1 December and 24 December 2009, 0.3% breached the CAP Code, a compliance rate of 99.7%. That is an encouraging result and suggests the industry is acting responsibly within the self-regulatory system. The result is an improvement on the compliance rate of 98.9% from the 2008 survey and 97.4% from the 2007 survey.”(ASA.2010)

But can we be relaxed after the data representations by ASA, if we really not need to be worried after this result then what expression, will one have after this well projected alcohol advertisement:

Is this answerable? Is responsibility reflecting?

In the recent discovery by expert Gerard Hasting, there were some producer who were found guilty in terms of neglecting voluntary codes setup for alcohol advertisement, he says as UK has chose for self regulatory control system which basically focuses on content of alcohol advertisement, and all this work is regulated by ASA, alcohol standard association and as the part of its alcohol inquiry, Gerard Hasting found evidences which proves that the communication agencies and producer were targeting youth , and promoting alcohol. With some marketing document in hand following producers were found guilty to be breach the codes for alcohol advertisement.

















(BMJ 2010; 340:b5650)

Need Help with your dissertation?

Why not order a custom dissertation that fits your exact requirements and grade needs?

At UK Dissertations we offer a range of services to help you get ahead in your studies.

Find out more today

Research has established that alcohol advertising, like that for tobacco and fast food, influences behaviour. It encourages young people to drink alcohol sooner and in greater quantities. Alcohol advertisement regulations are being restricted to keep the welfare of society and ASA is working from long time on the regulating strict policies for alcohol advertisement, but how alcohol advertisement mange to reach youth and society, marketing has some creative and smart people, it`s very intelligent way to say while working in so strict and restrict environment alcohol industry has developed some good campaign and promotions which has more influence on youth. The tighten rules and rigid working environment for alcohol industry mat turn to be more successful, when restriction are made the brain works in imaginative and divert itself to find a way. In past some very impressive work has been done by communication agencies, the advertisement association`s has strong opinion about tighten up the rules, ironically, tighten of rules may work in different direction and in a creative way for advertisement industry, for example working in 70s in tight industry guidelines gave outstanding work for tobacco industry, so why not alcohol industry? Alcohol advertisement are main concern for everyone because of the message it delivers through its advertisement, Mc-Catty(2004) adds, we have no objection to creative or imaginative advertising, but what matters to us is whether the advertisements appeal to young people, or are likely to encourage an irresponsible attitude to alcohol use or misuse. There are millions of people drink alcohol and enjoy drinking but when this turns into alcohol abuse and underage drinking, than criticism is always surrounded, which ultimately results in new guidelines and tighten theory.(Creative Review. 2004,p65-66)

“(Reuters) - Britain's system of self regulation on alcohol advertising is failing and companies are "pushing the boundaries" of codes of practice to lure in young drinkers, social marketing experts.”(Boulton, 2010)

One of the main causes for encouraging drinking is “the pricing” which of course is associated with marketing. A very low pricing does attract people to drinking, “today alcohol is cheaper than water” pricing is one of the main attractions to the people, and that is also urging people of United Kingdom to drink more alcohol, is “cheap alcohol” there has been so much argument on selling cheap alcohol, and who is responsible for this cheap selling of alcohol is it alcohol industry to be blamed for this, the green light for the pricing and legal drinking of round the clock, is responsibility of government; too the easy availability of alcohol in bars and around the corner which allows teens to drink until the last drop of alcohol goes in and turns them into unconscious ( Campaign(UK).2009, p18-18)


If alcohol industry is seriously following the voluntary codes set up by organizations then why still alcohol adverting is too blamed for encouraging drinking in society? Or is it that alcohol advertisement voluntary codes set up are not so restricted effective that they are able to stop the impact on the alcohol advertisement which is encouraging drinking; if we look into the alcohol marketing in sports ground, that that may be the one of the strongest impact which has on alcohol consumption.

(Heineken sponsors European rugby)

According to Portman group, a public relation body is tied up with companies like InBev and Carlsberg, these alcohol producer support the group to be part of ethical and help society, by promoting sensible drinking and to help preventing alcohol misuse, recently the Portman group has estimated that alcohol firms spend an estimate amount around £150m to £200m on advertising and marketing in UK every year (portman, 2009). Sport in many countries is god, and everyone worship god, but this is another form of marketing which means “following the god”, alcohol industry knows very well if not advertisement then why not to use the sports and sports players as the source of promotion of alcohol and this has proved to be right because recently there is very much rise in alcohol consumption, the specific period of while sports tournament takes place any of the store will provide alcohol on the cheap deals and if even though not, then the culture of UK do force them to consume them.

According to Professor Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians and chairman of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, backed calls for a ban on alcohol and sports sponsorship: "Notwithstanding the claims of their lobbyists, it is obvious that drinks industry sponsorship of sport is less about supporting an important part of our national culture and more brand positioning and profit. We need to ask whether this continued alliance and the mixed messages such deals send to young people and adults alike is actually appropriate."(Tran, 2009).

sports is global watch to every country, if we look into country like India then alcohol advertisement is completely banned, but while any sports been watched on television the alcohol brand is sponsored to the sports and this directly click to mind set of audience about alcohol, since sports is part of daily life and part of profession too, it does has impact on consumption of alcohol, may be a little but people do follow the trend. According to Luke Jenkinson director of sports sponsorships agency nexus MG, sports is connected to adults and children both, they play sports and have emotional attachment from centuries, and alcohol do not belong a place in sports, on this note i initially think that sports does effect alcohol consumption among society but sports and alcohol connection is old, which is being formed from generations.(B&T Magazine, 2010) In recent international journal of sports marketing and sponsorship, a report on survey conducted with pupil aged from 14 to 15 from five different schools on their perception about drinking in following weekend, and attitude towards drinking alcohol. With more series of questions were asked which give a brief idea about awareness of sponsors and their involvement in sport. The result suggested by Dr. Fiona Davies the report’s author, she says although alcohol sponsorship does play a part in “perpetuating and normalising” the culture of drunkenness, prohibition will not work on its own. And so do David Poley, chief executive of alcohol industry body The Portman Group, says the study provides evidence that sponsorship “has a comparatively minor effect on drinking attitudes.” But these little impacts on alcohol consumption have made a strong attempt and approach towards youth. (Parsons, 2010)


OFCOM, the UK's communications watchdog, believes that current guidelines on the promotion of alcohol do not go far enough. The body has identified a number of problematic themes in advertisements that might attract children and young teenagers, condone anti-social behaviour, promote binge drinking or suggest links between drinking and sexual success.(Market Watch: Drinks, 2004)

Alcohol has never got positive recommendation, and makes sense after all alcohol has destructed the roots of youth, by turning them irresponsible; alcohol is cause of sexual harassment, violent behaviour, put health on risk, unconscious, and most importantly addiction. Generation to generation alcohol has turned man into monster, which has made them living in the same world but unconscious. In a recent research at university of Connecticut, which was published in Archives of paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, it has been proved that alcohol advertisement watch through television may encourage young people to drink alcohol. While conducting the interview with 2000 young people, who were between the age of 15 to 26 about their drinking ability, to know the answer over two year the interview were carried on, so that the given answers can be compared with the timing spend by watching alcohol advertisements on television, there were some participant who were interviewed for 4 times during the this research period. The study revealed that American youths who watched more alcohol adverts tended to drink more alcohol too. For each "extra" advert watched in a month, the interviewees consumed one percent more alcohol. It has been examined that every dollar spend on alcohol advertisement, in television area, has its impact on alcohol consumption by three percent.

They concluded that alcohol advertising contributes to increase drinking among young people. The study also seemed to undermine previous claims that alcohol advertising has no effect on underage drinkers. It focused on advertising spending information rather than asking interviewees to estimate how many alcohol adverts they had seen. (Paterson, 2006)

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (Nice) has said that government should consider a complete ban on alcohol advertising in order to stop underage and binge drinking. There were number of alcohol advertisements which are banned after their broadcasting, due to wrong message reflection through the ads, still there are communication agencies who are targeting youth by approaching them for their promotion activities on alcohol and this somehow relives the truth about their wrong intentions. Some of the experiments and surveys were conducted which proves that alcohol advertisement has negative effect on society which encourage alcohol consumption, this is somehow connected to psychological behaviour, towards understanding the advertisement, some people take advertisement just an daily promotion on television, some take it as awareness on new product but for some it is the source to know what are latest brand famous people are using, and when comes to alcohol advertisement it`s the same, the youth want to know the brand famous people drinking so that they can follow them, it’s true that young people get influenced by celebrity and sports figures, proved in a survey where 25 respondent out of 1227 said that through alcohol advertisement they found out which brand their choice of famous personality drinks.( Marketing News, 1981) but is it reasonable enough to just blame alcohol advertisement and sports for encouragement, because some past research also uncovers that more than alcohol advertisement it`s parental and peer influence which changes the alcohol consumption of youth. Advertisements depicting consumer behaviours that are widely regarded as risky or unhealthy typically use favourable stereotypes to imply that those who engage in such behaviours are attractive, successful, and healthy (Pechmann and Knight 2002; Pechmann and Shih 1999). This is clear that alcohol advertisement are the one of the source for youth to know all possible knowledge about alcohol related queries, it could be about alcohol drinking, the brand associated with alcohol and most importantly the reflection of cultural behaviour on alcohol, these features of alcohol advertisement which clears the curiosity about alcohol from mind of youth, this turns into positive attitude towards alcohol. According to past research, alcohol advertisement has positive effect on beliefs, attitude, and consumption intension which favours future drinking. (Atkin, Hocking, and Block 1984; Stacy et al. 2004).Grube and Wallack (1994). The cultural influence has balanced effect on drinking behaviour which is reflected in every factor towards alcohol consumption, like parental influence is very much part of encouraging drinking, following their own parents habit of drinking, the standard of behaviour set by parents is followed by generation and this is cause for favouring alcohol consumption. Children are more likely to drink alcohol if one parent in the family drinks alcohol (Wilks, Callan, and Austin 1989). And beside alcohol advertisement and parental influence another factor is peer influence, which does play an important part in alcohol consumption.

“Advertising has a moderate-influence on drinking behaviour during the adolescent years, concluded research” Directors Martin block advertising department chairman at MSU and Charles Atkins, professor of communications. Advertisement is another way which communicates in informal way to socialize about alcohol, and the most convincing part it has that alcohol advertisement is not focused on general idea about alcohol but on brand awareness of alcohol, how much which brand holds within with different source to reach everyone. (Marketing News, 1981) some more experiment explains a practicality that how alcohol advertisement influence the consumption behaviour of society and mostly adolescent, some primary research done by McCarty and Ewing to know the affects of alcohol advertisement, the participants were exposed to some magazine ad slides for alcohol and non alcohol products which reflected sexual stimuli in advertisement messages, when the experiment was recorded the counterbalanced showed the result, that half of the participants took their interest in watching alcoholic advertisement and remaining saw them after non alcoholic advertisements. While the results evaluation was talking place the participants chose to drink alcohol well there was no significant effect on amount of alcohol was consumed until after the second session round toward exploration of alcohol advertisement was done just after that the BOC (blood rate content) was found high in the participants who chose to see alcohol advertisement first. Now this suggest that somehow alcohol advertisement is reason behind encouraging alcohol consumption in the participants who continued to drink even after second viewing session. (Martin, 1995)

Need Help with your dissertation?

Why not order a custom dissertation that fits your exact requirements and grade needs?

At UK Dissertations we offer a range of services to help you get ahead in your studies.

Find out more today

The curiosity of knowing the reality behind the theory, needs to be proved and the experts in past has been doing the same for their and our satisfaction, another experiment which was conducted in past, about how behaviour of college students was influenced by alcohol advertisement and raised their consumption of alcohol, these series of experiments are the self understanding more than a proof to anyone, this one is particular about alcohol advertisement on television conducted by Kohn and Smart (1984). The experiment was based on television advertisement, to know what effects it has on participants. A 90 minute duration soccer game was played front of some Canadian student belong to college. The tape also contained number of bees commercials which were a total of 9 commercials and had timing of broadcasted. The experiment was conducted in an informal environment so that it could be a relaxing way to understand there nature of participants while experiment go on. Soon alcohol advertisement turned the experiment interesting because advertisement initially increased their alcohol consumption; as the experiment was conducted in group of six and seven person, just during the half hour period when advertisement were seen by participants their attitude was far more different than expected, 97% of participant consumed alcohol in the half hour; that double the figure. The authors concluded that “limited exposure to televised beer commercial briefly stimulates consumption” but that “further exposure does not seem to contribute to further consumption” (Martin,1995).


"I think banning alcohol advertising is pointless. People will carry on drinking." Says Brocklehursc, (Creative Review2004)

According to the latest journal published by British Medical Journal alcohol industry is targeting youngsters, by sending them the message of alcohol being fun and friend to their lives, and stepping into the world of drunkenness. Recently commons health committee discovered some documents from drink firm of market research conducted by them, the data shows that from the age of 15 to 16 year olds are being used for the campaigns purpose, by keeping in mind their main target who are just turning 18 soon."Upcoming generations represent a key target for alcohol advertisers," says the paper, published online by the BMJ. (Bosley, 2010)

Alcohol advertisement is educating about alcohol or brand? Whatever knowledge it provides alcohol advertisement is always criticised because of it presumed force on alcohol consumption, recently UK has found itself in deep trouble since the cost raised due misuse of alcohol has pushed up by the economic and human cost, and this is possible an ultimate result of alcohol consumption in UK, Sally Dickerson has observed that hypotheses market size is widen by advertisement and so do alcohol advertisement drives overall consumption. She also found correlation of alcohol consumption in UK, which was surveyed by Alco Vision, the survey was on two aged group category from 18-24 and another over 25 aged, the correlation identified that age group from 18-24 has correlation with promotion and trend in culture of UK and for over 25 aged people the correlation was with the pricing issues but no relationship between alcohol advertisement and consumption was discovered in statistical form. (Dickerson and Dorsett, 2004)


With giving out surveys to 100 people out of which 70 people responded about their opinion on alcohol advertisement, with the age group of 23 to 54 the survey was filled up and according to them it on them alcohol advertisement do encourage drinking in the society. 90% of them are not aware of the alcohol advertisement voluntary codes, which are set up by ASA, so basically it’s simple they even don`t know what is legally allowed in alcohol advertisement to be broadcasted. These were the finding of survey conducted in Cardiff city. This result of survey can be put down in two ways, first that the participants are not aware about the alcohol advertisement voluntary codes, which are set up for the society itself, for the protection from the misleading message alcohol advertisement were giving in past. And another finding which is very much psychological based is accepting the fact that alcohol advertisement do encourage drinking in youth but personally their choices are not affected of alcohol consumption.

Result of primary research data as follows:

1. DO YOU CONSUME ALCOHOL? Out of 70 participants 52 accepted that they consume alcohol.

2. WHAT IS YOUR AGE? Out of 70 participants 38 were above 33 years and res below 33 years

3. WHAT IS YOUR SEX? Out of 70 participants the sex ratio was 46 males and 24 females.


5. DO YOU BELIEVE ALCOHOL ADVERTISMENT AFFECTS YOUR ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION BEHAVIOUR? Out of 70 participants 4 accepted about affect due to alcohol advertisement and 66 did not agreed.

6. DOES ANY ALCOHOL ADVERTISEMENT ENCOURAGE SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION? Out of 70 participants 67 disagreed with the fact that alcohol advertisement holds social responsibility and 3 participants agreed.

7. HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED OR COMPLAINED AGAINSTE ANY ADVERTISEMENT ON ALCOHOL WHICH WAS NOT APPROPRIATE? Out of 70 participants no one ever complained about an alcohol advertisement.

>8. DO YOU THINK ALCOHOL ADVERTISEMENT ENCOURAGES THE DRINKING OF ALCOHOL? Out of 70 participants 65 accepted that alcohol advertisement do affect drinking of alcohol and remaining 5 disagreed.

9.DO YOU THINK ALCOHOL ADVERTISEMENT COULD BE A REASON FOR INCREASING ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE? Out of 70 participants 55 agreed that alcohol advertisement has it hand in encouraging alcohol drinking in youth and rest did not agreed with the statement.

10.DO YOU THINK THAT ENOUGH EDUCATION ON RESPONSIBLE DRINKING IS PROVIDED IN SCHOOLS? Out of 70 participants only 6 believed that enough education on alcohol is provided and rest of 64 disagreed of the fact.

11. DO YOU THINK THAT ENOUGH GUIDELINE ON RESPONSIBLE DRINKING IS PROVIDED IN FURTHER AND HIGHER EDUCATIONAL ORGANISATIONS (colleges, universities, etc.)? Out of 70 participants only 3 agreed with guidelines provided and rest 67 says no guidelines are provided properly.

12. DO YOU THINK THAT ALCOHOL ADVERTISEMENT SHOULD BE COMPLETELY BANNED / RESTRICTED TO SOME EXTENT / NOT RESTRICTED AT ALL? Out of 70 there were very different opinions on alcohol advertisement, 7 said there should be total ban on alcohol advertisement, and against that 5 said there should be no restriction. With that 58 said there should be restriction to some extent.

These are the general finding of whole survey but if divide that into alcoholic and non-alcoholic based data which will be releaving beliefs and attitude of the participants which will bring more clear picture what they actually think about alcohol advertisement:





Male(32) female(10)

YES(14) NO(14)

Attitude toward alcohol consumption

YES(54) NO(6)

YES(8) NO(2)

Alcohol consumption behaviour

YES(3) NO(58)

YES(1) NO(8)

Encourage Socially Responsible

YES(2) NO(24)

YES(1) NO(43)

Encourage alcohol Drinking

YES(51) NO(3)

YES(14) NO(2)

AA encourage youth drinking

YES(50) NO(12)

YES(5) NO(3)

Completely Banned



Resticted to some Extent



No Restriction At All



Need Help with your dissertation?

Why not order a custom dissertation that fits your exact requirements and grade needs?

At UK Dissertations we offer a range of services to help you get ahead in your studies.

Find out more today

This was an overall result which were out from survey taken place on alcohol advertisement but if we look into other primary data which was collected from observation method, which was basically contributed on alcohol industry following voluntary codes, and being responsible, there was an which saw on television aired on 21st of august 2010, which had everything according to voluntary codes setup by ASA but one very interesting point I like to mark out, there was a statement written on alcohol advertisement “drink responsibly” which was not at all able to be seen since the font was so small that no one will even notice it. One responsible and ethically suitable advertisement which was noticed with full following of voluntary codes and the past history has impressive results in proving of playing the game responsibly “ Jack Daniel”, the one brand which is responsible enough to understand what they are selling what consequences it holds with it.

And this gives hand to alcohol industry in managing to attract and target the audience by the advertisement. Even though after following voluntary codes set up by ASA still alcohol advertisement are effective and successful enough.


The British Medical Association (BMA) is campaigning to have all alcohol advertising banned from television, radio and online advertising. The BMA said that the damaging effect of alcohol, including: binge drinking, anti-social behaviour, violence and drink-related health problems, should not be glorified through media advertising of alcohol. (Hudson, 2009)

With primary research, there were very much important highlights which were found, with 70 participants there were more than 50% who consume alcohol, from age of 23 to 54, with most of them were males compared to females. When asked about their attitude towards alcohol consumption due to alcohol advertisement, with high percentage they said no, this could have many reasons although since they are regular drinkers and already loyal towards the brand and most important after certain age like from 24 above the curiosity and the excitement and fun feeling which is already been experienced before is gone and advertisement is not able to shift the taste or say the mind set which is set up by the age factor, with having family responsibility, career responsibility. So an alcohol advertisement can just change the mind set in trying the new brand to this age but not encourage, the most important fact which i discovered after conducting my research was that, the encouragement made for drinking is more for younger generation, because they just welcomed in the new world of alcohol and this freedom and less responsibility make them follow advertisement. Although participants accepted that alcohol advertisement should be restricted to an extent, so that promotion and little restriction both can be fulfilled all together. And on very little note some were in favour of a complete ban on alcohol advertisements.

Alcohol advertisement has played a very much important part in encouragement of drinking in society, as found in one of the experiment conducted by Kohn and smart, that as the participants exposed to alcohol advertisement (beer) during soccer match, they ordered more of drinks, this could be a reason of curiosity which was answered after watching series of ads and then another motive which every ad has attraction towards the product. Now if we look into this matter deep then even if the responsibility is reflected in alcohol advertisement, the cultural pact is present in mind set of everyone, and this is usually found in UK, parental alcoholic habit is encourage youth from small age and when the youth is exposed to the alcohol advertisement this cultural pact and curiosity turns into drinking. Alcohol is always created fuss with experts about how much society is secured from its impact and what else could be done about it, alcohol industry has reach to society from every possible mode, it has made it establishment through sports sponsorships, promotions, using the cultural pact and of course the branding. One of the early articles does reflect that alcohol advertisement attracts youth, because they want to know the rand used by famous personality or sports figures which encourage them and fit themselves in the shoe. It has never left any source to reach the youth, as they know that they are the main target to sell their product, youth start drinking from age 18, but this curiosity of drinking can be seen from age 15 onwards, for example: in mid of December a group of kids around the age from 15 to 16 asked me to buy them bottle of beer because they are not eligible to buy it from stores, now this has a very much impact of alcohol advertisement and that I can say because they specifically asked me to buy alcohol from Tesco knowing that the pricing is very cheap so with count of same money was offered to buy the beer. It`s very much understandable that alcohol companies target the young generation for selling alcohol because once they get successful in reaching to youth for the brand then they are sure that first couple of years, youth will buy their brand for getting answers to their curiosity they have from young age about it, and once the brand loyalty is gained than the profit is earned for years, with couple of document were found from some leading communication agencies which shows direct proof that youth is the target for selling the product, and so the age from 15 to 16 are taken for the campaign purpose. One the most effective way alcohol industry is using to sell alcohol is sports sponsorships, which connects fans with sports and this led them to drink alcohol more after watching which brand is associated with their favourite sports personality, so this emotional relationship with sports is used by alcohol industry, it won`t be said that sports sponsorship is only the reason of being encouraged and starting drinking but it`s more of the trend which people are enjoying and following from centuries. When we move deep into alcohol advertisement in content of voluntary codes, it`s very much indicates that general people are not worried about any of the marketing done, they are not aware of any alcohol based advertisement regulations which of course the ultimate reason of not considering a complaints. But when asked about banning of alcohol advertisements they do suggest that complete ban won`t do anything, so advertisement should be banned to some extent, with majority an explanation come out to be both promotion and safety of youth should be considered.

With overall study understood many factors which are responsible for encouraging alcohol consumption in youth, it the message behind marketing, sports linked with alcohol, cultural pact, social impact, parental influence, peer influence and generation to generation trend which moves on. If we look into major highlight, then it`s true that young generation is encouraged by alcohol advertisement because they are ruled by the psychological motion of the age, which attracts them towards alcohol in a way of fun, fearless, wild, enjoyment and most important to fit in the shoes of their favourites, with all the results come out in the surveys and experiment conducted has positive results of positive relationship between alcohol advertisement and alcohol consumption, which has shown that may be on small amount but yes alcohol advertisement encourages drinking in society. But after all this criticism alcohol advertisement can`t totally responsible for encouraging drinking.



Overall this research paper bring out the alcohol advertisement in limelight, by discussing the issues which are raised, about social and ethical responsibility of alcohol industry, I have taken the research based on primary and secondary data. Starting with primary data I have taken a survey from 70 people who are from Cardiff between the age group of 23 to 54 years, the survey involves basic questions of their alcohol consumption behaviour? About their opinion on alcohol advertisement, how they define the function of alcohol advertisement affecting youth?

Another primary data is collected by observation method, which helped me to understand the role of alcohol advertisement and let me provide the reflection of my research too. The research paper provides the report on how even after following voluntary codes setup the alcohol industry is able to approach youth to encourage them to drink alcohol. With a review of many experts, specialist, communicators, the project report contains their perceptions and arguments on alcohol advertisements with a brief prove which involves experiments conducted and documents discovered. From point of view of expert Gerard Hasting, to article of “The guardian” there is overview of issues, blames on alcohol industry about their social and ethical responsibility. With introduction on what alcohol advertisement is all about and its impact on the society with negative and positive if any? On next to the problems which is the most important part of the research paper as it focus on what are the issues taken into consideration for solving and why this needs a solution, to know what we are looking forward to, it`s important to know the our destination so with two objectives to be achieved which are is alcohol industry socially and ethically responsible? And another is alcohol advertisement to be blamed for encouraging alcohol in the society. When finished with the objectives, the most important part played to conduct this research is methodology which involves primary and secondary data both with use of qualitative and quantitative research, so that the issue which is more subjective can be defined well with the research method which were survey via questionnaire and observation. Beside alcohol advertisement the two most important reason contributes in encouraging alcohol consumption are parental influence and cultural influence which varies from different age to different beliefs.



With overview of my research, on issues of alcohol advertisement; the alcohol industry has been responsible in recent years and has understood the social and ethical responsibilities which is reflecting in the ASA report, about following voluntary codes by alcohol industry in producing the alcohol advertisements, the report figure speak out that out of 307 advertisement broadcasted only one was condemned for breach of codes. This has is very impressive direction for alcohol industry but the most important debate here is about forcefully following the voluntary codes by alcohol industry, because some say when alcohol is legally allowed then the advertising for alcohol should be legally allowed and should have no obligations. The matter here is that responsibility is not self realised by the alcohol industry, if not alcohol advertisement then its sports sponsorships which still a very huge way to promote the alcohol, even though alcohol industry is aware of the fan following of sports players very well. This is not counted to be responsible behaviour of alcohol industry. It`s important to understand that alcohol has more negative impact then positive impact on the society; and it`s important to deal with communication process, because the strength of message is very much responsible and reflect the selling mantra more than the responsibility it neglects. Another issue which connects with the same implication on responsibility of alcohol advertisement, with researches, experiments, communicators, expert`s point of view on the controversy of “alcohol advertisement is blamed for encouraging drinking”. It`s strongly suggests that alcohol advertisement does have a impact on society which encourage drinking. The alcohol industry does not only promote alcohol via advertisements but also combines alcohol with media to promote it for example: the fan following sports tournaments, sports players; which attract youth the most towards alcohol consumption. There is one important expression in all the findings which is the input of cultural influence in marketing of alcohol which influence the society towards alcohol consumption. There is no deny that alcohol consumption is also influenced by culture and society behaviour towards alcohol which youth does follows, even after alcohol does has high selling as a product and has regular buying in UK, alcohol industry double give the society to drink alcohol, they also fill the gap of curiosity which youth has about alcohol and this lead to serious consumption of alcohol which doesn`t let them think about any responsible drinking. The attraction of alcohol which is been planned by alcohol industry starts first from the pricing! “Imagine alcohol cheaper then water”. Some of the leading supermarkets in UK are selling alcohol in cheap pricing strategy which attracts youth towards drinking too. When comes to the message behind alcohol advertisement then it`s in simple one word is “rocking life” which reflects the same what youth wants to hear from every one, “fun, excitement, sound more mature too them and more importantly sex appeal”. Another ground which alcohol industry uses as their main weapon to attract youth and rest of the society through marketing is sports, they target the emotional attachment people have with sports and sponsor the sports players and the tournaments which turns them into fan following. My research paper has concluded that May be in small percentage but yes alcohol advertisement do encourage drinking in society and there is no reflection of social and ethical responsibility presents in alcohol marketing.

Need Help with your dissertation?

Why not order a custom dissertation that fits your exact requirements and grade needs?

At UK Dissertations we offer a range of services to help you get ahead in your studies.

Find out more today


With overview of this research there are many possibilities which can help in forming socially and ethical responsible alcohol marketing. After conducting the survey on my research I realised people were not so comfortable about being questioned about alcohol as a subject of matter to them, so make understand how much it`s important to work together on alcohol and the responsibility it carries, we need to conduct group interviews from different age group and with same age group too, so that we can understand their relation between alcohol advertisement and consumption, it will be easy to understand that what attract them towards alcohol advertisement and after collection of opinion; new codes should be made which will help in making alcohol advertisement better. Another recommendation I have is a control committee should be made, who can examine every advertisement which is being produced through any medium before broadcasting it. This will prevent the encouragement message to be passed on. To deal with alcohol advertisement government should increase the legal age for alcohol consumption so those youngsters from age group of 15+ are not targeted by alcohol industry, and of course this will affect alcohol sell but this will clearly take away the motive from alcohol industry and they will change their focus from youngsters.

Promotion at the places like schools, near residential areas and playground should not take place as this restriction will be responsibility within itself, as this will create boundary for alcohol advertisement. There is one important need to be done by government which will help to understand the youth point of view about alcohol consumption and then the solutions can be taken according to it, government should make a compulsion on alcohol education provided by companies itself. These all recommendation may have very little impact on future research but someone has to start.