Drink ad accused

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags North west Advertising

Health officials have hit out at drinks advertising for undermining the Drinkaware Trust's message on responsible drinking. A WKD advert which...

Health officials have hit out at drinks advertising for undermining the Drinkaware Trust's message on responsible drinking.

A WKD advert which carries the provocative tagline "One of Your Five a Day" came under fire during a meeting of the North West Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy group.

The advert, which features the Drinkaware slogan, was also accused of damaging an important government message on health, specifically its "five-a-day" campaign urging the public to eat more fruit and vegetalbes.

Speaking after the Manchester meeting, Professor Mark Bellis, director of the North West Centre for Public Health, said: "Drinkaware is supposed to be a trailblazer for the promotion of sensible alcohol consumption. This confuses the message, which is a real shame and a step in the wrong direction.

"It cuts across the idea that an important partnership is being developed between the government and the drinks industry. It contorts an extremely important message from the government on public health."

Following the meeting Angela Towers, the North West's regional food and health policy co-ordinator, wrote to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) calling for the advert to be looked at. However the ASA has already said that it will not be acting against the advert.

The advert suggests WKD should be "One of your five a day - the other four being the match, a night out, a curry and a kip".

A spokeswoman for the Drinkaware Trust said that as a licence holder Beverage Brands, owner of the WKD brand, did not have to show the trust print advertising.

Karen Salters, marketing director of Beverage Brands, said: "We were aware that the ASA had received a complaint against a WKD poster ad and that the complaint was not upheld.

As always, the finished ad was cleared by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) before being put up. Beverage Brands makes every effort to ensure that all marketing material adheres to the guidelines that are laid down by the ASA in the CAP."

Lee Le Clerq, regional secretary of the British Beer & Pub Association North of England, who was present at the meeting, said: "It's an interesting observation from the professor and the health cohorts and it openS a debate about the extent to which humour excuses irresponsible messaging. But I would not regard this advert as irresponsible."

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