Anyone who has worked in a bar knows the pattern – group comes in to bar all happy and joking, a few drinks later they leave the worse for wear and usually miserable.If advertising reflected this reality instead of the amp’ed social circles shown at the top perhaps people would drink less.

In Britain the ASA requires advertising to comply with the following rules:

The stringent rules are designed to ensure alcohol is advertised in a socially responsible way. The rules place a particular emphasis on protecting young people; alcohol ads must not be directed at people under 18 or contain anything that is likely to appeal to them by reflecting youth culture or by linking alcohol with irresponsible behaviour, social success or sexual attractiveness.

The ad at the top of the picture would fall afoul of the ASA rules, an ad including the picture at the bottom would not however and it would be closer to the truth.

Adding a tag line ‘Drink Responsibly’ doesn’t cut it – it’s time to toughen alcohol advertising rules.

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