Daily Archives: 17/06/2014

Research findings on UK TV alcohol advertising

This research was published last month in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism.

The research question was:

Do UK Television Alcohol Advertisements Abide by the Code of Broadcast Advertising Rules Regarding the Portrayal of Alcohol?

How very interesting I thought.

Here are some more details:

The aim of the study was to assess the extent to which members of the UK general public perceive television alcohol advertisements to comply with the regulatory code governing these: the Advertising Standards Authority Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Code). The Code provides a general principle and 16 rules to prevent such adverts implying, condoning or encouraging immoderate, irresponsible or anti-social drinking.

Quota sample of 373 adults, representative of the UK population aged 18–74 years in terms of age and gender, were recruited at a train station. Participants were shown one of seven advertisements that had been broadcast in the previous month on the two leading commercial television channels, and then completed a questionnaire with 40 statements representing the BCAP Code rules.

Overall, 75% of the participants rated the advertisements as breaching at least one rule from the BCAP Code. Breaches were observed for all the seven advertisements, ranging from 49 to 91% non-compliant. Rules regarding alcohol being presented as contributing to popularity or confidence, and implying that alcohol is capable of changing mood, physical condition, behaviour, or as nourishment, were seen as being breached by over 50% of participants.

The research concluded that a clear majority of the UK general public perceive alcohol advertisements to breach the BCAP Code, suggesting that the current regulatory system for UK television alcohol advertisements is inadequate.

Now it could be argued that this is a small sample size and needed to be more widely researched but that does not take away from the fact that they were breaching rules as perceived by 75% of those asked.

Why is nothing being done about this?  Why is this being allowed to happen?  What could we do to change this?  Any suggestions?

96 days to go