Home Office says promotions that increase customers could be classed ‘irresponsible’

By James Wallin contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Beer

The Home Office has advised publicans on what makes an irresponsible promotion
The Home Office has advised publicans on what makes an irresponsible promotion
The Home Office has issued its long-awaited guidance on the revised mandatory licensing conditions – just weeks before the law changes.

There has been criticism from the trade that the operators will struggle to implement the changes necessary before the deadline of 1 October.

The key change is the requirement to list smaller measures – half pints for beer or cider; 25ml or 35ml for spirits and 125ml for wine – in drinks lists or menus.

There was also puzzlement at the Home Office’s suggestion that one factor to consider when deciding if a promotion was irresponsible was the likelihood of “a significant increase in the number of customers”.

 James Anderson, a partner at Poppleston Allen, said: “As long as you are operating within capacity there should be no problem with a promotion that increases the number of customers. After all, that is what a promotion is designed to do.”

Kate Nicholls, strategic affairs director for the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, said: “The purpose of a promotion is to drive sales. This is one of a number of factors that are being considered and we need to be careful that the legal interpretation is clear. The key factor must be the significant risk of breaching a licensing objective.”

Range of measures

Crime Prevention minister Norman Baker told the PMA: “The number of customers alone would not be a strong enough reason to deem a promotion irresponsible – it would have to be taken into account with a whole range of other factors such as whether the promotion encourages binge drinking, the track record of the licensed premises and adequacy of security measures.”

On the requirements surrounding smaller measures, Nicholls said: ““This guidance has been very slow in coming and now operators have a very short space of time in which to implement these changes. Having to include the smaller measures in price lists and menus will have a significant impact on small operators.

“I would like to see the Home Office adopt a light touch approach to reflect the short turnaround time that operators are being expected to comply with.”

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “Pubs will also have to tell customers what measures are available if they don’t specify when ordering - we feel this is unnecessary, but hopefully there will be a common sense approach to enforcement.”

Baker said: “The coalition Government is taking a range of action to tackle the £21 billion a year cost of drink-related harm. But we also want to support pubs and in doing so have reduced the price of a pint and scrapped the duty escalator.”

Home Office guidance on mandatory licensing conditions

2014-08-29_MC_Guidance_v1_0.pdf 0.06 MB

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Sense of humour is commendable

Posted by david,

It's nice to see that in the midst of too many massive crises to count, our beloved "pro pub" Government hasn't lost its sense of humour and is getting to grips with the really big issues of the day.

Another step in its repeated commitment to reduce the red tape burden!

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Posted by RFM,

An excellent analysis of Government by Nannying.

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The Final Nails are Being Applied to the Coffin

Posted by Ron Miles,

This latest round of Licensing conditions changes is nothing short of persecution.
I have finally accepted that the Government, despite their "cover story" to appear in favour of the "Great British Pub" are in fact responsible for it's demise.
Although something like 80% of alcohol sold in the UK is purchased through the supermarket it is the on-trade who bears the brunt of legislation. The supermarket can sell their alcohol cheaper than water, they can offer any promotion they desire to increase footfall, they can flaunt the alcohol watershed on advertising within their own premises preening the next generation on where to get their cheap booze.
The Police, Coroner and local Councils readily accept that the binge drinking problems in the UK are the direct result of the cheap prices in the supermarkets and NOT the Public House, when are the legislators going to going to wake up and control the source of the problem instead of the end result, probably never as previously said the government no longer want's places where people meet and talk!!! It's far easier to control people who lock themselves away with their cheap booze, cheap take away and in home entertainments, simply lock the door behind you and see you in the morning and not a guard in sight, brilliant!!!

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