Excessive consumption

Addressing binge drinking - Campaigns around responsible selling and serving

Campaigns around responsible selling and serving


In the UK a new poster campaign in 2015 was developed to highlight the law on selling or buying alcohol for someone who is drunk. It was initiated in response to a focus by a number of Local Alcohol Action areas on tackling public drunkenness. Working with National Pubwatch and Drinkaware with input from the Home Office two poster designs have been finalised. One highlights that it’s against the law to serve alcohol to someone who is drunk, and one that it is against the law to buy alcohol for a drunk friend. Plans are being finalised to launch a version through the BBPA sister organisation, the Scottish Beer & Pub Association, in partnership with the Scottish Licensed Trade Association. There was good coverage of the campaign and the posters are being actively promoted by National Pubwatch and the Portman Group. A separate version has been produced including the Best Bar None (BBN) logo for use by BBN schemes. In the first three months, 5,000 posters were distributed through BBPA members, National Pubwatch and to the Local Alcohol Action Areas. They have also been promoted by tenanted/leased companies to their licensees. Working with a company, advertising screens were placed in pubs and the poster images were shown in 157 of the venues where they have screens. These were all city centre venues in London, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds etc. with a weekly footfall audience of around 280,000 for the whole of April 2015.

Also in the UK, Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAPs) are retailer-led partnerships to tackle issues of underage drinking and promote awareness and understanding of alcohol among young people. They bring together local retailers and licensees, trading standards, police, health services, education providers and other local stakeholders to tackle the problem of underage drinking and associated anti-social behaviour. Interventions focus on: education of young people about the health and legal implications of underage consumption; training and mentoring for retailers in off- and on-licensed premises; enforcement through mystery shopping exercises and police and Trading Standards patrols; and working with local media to celebrate success. The CAP model is unique in that it recognises that retailers and licensees are part of the solution and has been shown to be more effective than traditional enforcement methods alone. Each CAP scheme operates in a clearly delineated and usually compact local community and draws on local partners to develop and implement delivery at grassroots level. Community Alcohol Partnerships is a Community Interest Company with an independent Chair, and an expert Advisory Board including retailers and members from the voluntary and charity sectors, the police and trading standards. Funding is provided by all major alcohol retailers and a number of alcohol producers.

In April 2013, a new website was launched including a number of new features with case studies and an evaluation “toolkit” for use by CAP areas. By August 2015 there were over 80 CAPs across the UK with schemes in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and across England – and the numbers are growing strongly. Evaluations continue to show good evidence of success including: The St Neots CAP (2007) saw a 45% reduction in anti-social behaviour; In Dearne and Penistone, South Yorkshire (2011) a 30% decrease in anti-social behaviourwas recorded; In Derry (2011) there was a 50% decrease in youth nuisance and youth diversionary referrals decreased from 114 to 40; The Barnsley CAP (2011) saw a 30% reduction in alcohol related anti-social behaviour compared with 7.4% in the control areas; In the Durham CAP (2012), early intervention patrols resulted in a marked reduction in associated anti-social behaviour (37.2%) compared to the rest of the county (8.8%); In Islington (2012) there was a 50% decrease in youth alcohol related accidents requiring the attention of the London Ambulance Service; In the Brecon CAP (2013) – 90% of the retailers questioned said that the CAP had definitely or probably had a positive impact on the town; Tower Hamlets CAP (2014) saw a decrease of 46% in anti-social behaviour rates; In the Great Yarmouth CAP (2012-14) the number of Section 30 letters sent to parents of young people found drinking alcohol reduced from 31 in 2011/12 to 5 in 2013/14 with officers reporting that they are simply not finding groups of young people congregating in public drinking anymore.


In 2014 the UK Government selected 20 Local Alcohol Action Areas (LAAA) to pilot the effect of targeted local action to combat the effects of irresponsible drinking. This Responsibility Deal pledge committed signatories to fund and/or support the activities of local alcohol partnership schemes, together with other alcohol producers, retailers, local authorities, the police, health providers, licensing authorities and other traders, in Local Alcohol Action Areas. Direct contact has been made with a number of the LAAA areas to supply responsible retailing materials including C21, unit awareness and serving drunks posters to a number of areas and making available all of the BBPA’s responsible retailing guidance.


In Hungary in 2012 Dreher began a campaign to encourage managers and staff at HORECA outlets to become key advocates of alcohol responsibility and demonstrate the benefits of encouraging alcohol responsibility in their venues. The goal was to help the managers understand the business environment more deeply, with the curriculum including the dangers of irresponsible alcohol consumption. As a pilot program 20 HORECA and 20 trade partners (small and medium sized) were selected and invited to attend one and a half days of training. During a full day business simulation they tried different kinds of business decisions, where alcohol responsibility was also integrated. The participants also received point of sale materials to promote responsible alcohol consumption within their venues.

selling and serving


In France a campaign from Entreprise & PrĂ©vention to educate the student population on how to consume alcohol responsibly, includes a Charter that FAGE (Federation of Student Unions) members are invited to sign, thereby agreeing to run prevention activities at the same time as student parties. The Charter includes a section on the promotion of a responsible drinking environment, such as by offering free or low-price soft drinks and avoiding open-bar promotions). Kits (containing copies of the Charter; pamphlets with responsible drinking messages; stickers and “Responsible Organiser” bracelets) are distributed to help the student associations enhance their commitment to the Charter. A sticker is used to publicise the scheme. Training seminars on how to implement the Charter are held for leaders of student associations and prizes awarded for those associations who have implemented the best prevention activities over the academic year. In 2013; 227 student associations signed the Charter and 42 training courses were held for 714 heads of associations.


In the Netherlands, the Dutch Brewers through STIVA (the Dutch Foundation for the Responsible Use of Alcohol) support each year an alcohol policy day for student unions, a meeting that gathers, to raise awareness of the dangers of excessive drinking, the executive committees of all student unions that are members of the National Chamber of Student Unions. The initiative is undertaken with the support of LKvV (the Dutch League of Sororities and Fraternities) and 46 student unions in 13 cities take part. In 2012 the event was also expanded to the annual meeting of all boards of the 47 student convents. The Dutch Chamber of Student Convents, of which they are all a member, launched in April 2012, with the financial support of STIVA, an online tool to help its members respect the responsible selling and serving of drinks in the bars. Whilst one thousand students were expected to take the test in 2012, in fact two thousand had done so by the end of the year


AB InBev in Belgium and Netherlands uses its sponsorship of the top football league to reach fans with responsible drinking messages, including by partnering with the football clubs. Server training is provided to all clubs, whilst signs at grounds are also used to draw fans’ attention both to the program and its Facebook site, where fans are also encouraged to sign up along with well-known campaign supporters such as the Dutch national team manager.

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