Welcome ad fans!

This is my first post as a BrandRepublic blogette! So here goes, the news and views from a young ad starlet…

I watch the BBC News every morning, mainly to see the weather and whether I should wear a jacket or not, but today they were on about alcohol AGAIN!  This time they’re telling us it’s ok to have 5 small glasses of wine a week because it reduces the risk of arthritis.  This comes in the wake of two big alcohol awareness campaigns  – Diageo’s ‘Night to remember / Night to forget’ and the Department of Health’s ‘Know your limits’.

With the Department of Health and a huge drinks brand favouring this responsible approach, they are pushing the responsibility  movement in the hope of a culture shift away from binge drinking.  I for one think that the ‘Know your limits’ campaign for one has been a fantastic vehicle to demystify alcohol units.  Back in the day a small glass of wine was 1 unit, now we’re in the era of large glasses as standard, we need to be reminded that that’s 3 units we’re drinking.  Schweppes, however,  has gone one step further in the responsibility movement by going back to their soft drinks roots and saying that it’s ok not to drink at all! 

So is this anti-alcohol messaging? Or is it about limits? That’s confusing enough, particularly as now we have been given permission to have a drink again!  There isn’t any other way to say that a few glasses of wine can help
reduce the risk of arthritis, without taking a pro-drinking sort of
stance. 

The whole point is moderation, clearly, yet I don’t think it’s getting through as well as it should.  With limits on the one hand, Schweppes saying no and Swedish research saying yes, I can see why the ‘feast or famine’ mentality is confusing the nation.              

  • Gordon Macmillan

    Let me be the first to post on your new blog and say welcome. It is confusing and I think that while the new campaign has been good (numbers on glasses really drives the message home) it is all meaningless if people can not take responsibility for their own in take. We all know when we;re drinking too much. Bucket sizes of wine or not.

  • Susan Billinge

    Hi Louise! I agree with Gordon – It’s up to the individual to decide how much they can handle and take the responsibiilty for it. Some people just blame the government for their own lack of control – it’s almost as though they want to live in a nanny state, being told what to do and how to behave all the time.

  • Louise Kennedy

    Maybe all this conflicting messaging is all an attempt at cornering every different drinking audience e.g. a little bit of red wine can reduce the risk of arthritis for the ageing moderates, know your limits for the young professionals – but everyone is being receptive, which is why it is all getting a bit confusing!

  • Nikki Sandison

    I agree the “know your limits” campaign is quite effective, I didn’t realise how many units were in large glasses. But there could be a backlash if there are too many ads targeting everyone from young binge drinkers to people having a quiet glass at home. People don’t like being told what to do especially in their own homes.

  • http://elburrohotay.blogspot.com/ Peter Martin

    ‘I watch the BBC News every morning’ I actually think there should be a campaign against the dangers of doing this to excess. Just trying to keep your head straight as the blonde and bouffant cheerfully parrot often rampantly contradictory stories back to back without trace of irony (I think my favourite was one on space tourism (to much ooo and ahhhing) followed by polar bears (to much ‘naughty budget holiday makers… naughty!)

  • Louise Kennedy

    I couldn’t agree more Peter! I find the BBC stimulates a great deal of debate thanks to their ‘innovative’ newscasting, which is why it’s a morning favourite of mine. Oh and for their questionable weather report too!

  • http://www.theidm.com Joanna King

    To concur with Nikki – the ‘know your limits’ campaign has really brought it home to me too. But when will they print the units on glasses do you think……!

  • Alan Munro

    Bit tricky printing the units on the glass unless you know what’s going in it, Joanna. As for unleashing the power of advertising on boozy Britain, Louise, I’m afraid there’s only going to be one winner there…

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