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Big Alcohol recycles Big Tobacco’s tactics

“Hands off” is the message from the alcohol industry to busybodies and nanny-statists who want to regulate them more tightly. You may have heard some of the same arguments  from tobacco companies over the last few decades. 

Marketing to children and young people

"We have to get past this myth once and for all that exposure to alcohol marketing causes children to drink. The UK already has some of the strictest rules in place to prevent alcohol being marketed to children or in a way that might appeal to them."David Poley, Portman Group, 2011

"In all my years at Philip Morris, I’ve never heard anyone talk about marketing to youth"Geoffrey Bible, Philip Morris Tobacco, 1998

Advertising and brand switching

"The reason drinks producers advertise is to influence consumers’ brand choice."Portman Group, 2008

"[The] purpose [of advertising] is to get smokers of competitive products to switch to one of our brands, and to build the loyalty of those who already smoke one of our brands."RJ Reynolds Tobacco, 1984


"It is worrying that in the midst of a recession, when sales and consumption of alcohol are falling, that the Government should be talking about raising prices for all consumers, at a time when many are already struggling to make ends meet."Jeremy Beadles, Wine and Spirit Trade Association, 2009

"[Increasing the price of cigarettes] discriminates against those who can least afford it. Increasing tobacco duty could cost the government billions of pounds…The Chancellor said the government’s policy on tobacco will reduce smoking. It’s not the government’s role to force people to quit."Simon Clark, Forest, 2011

What else is the alcohol industry up to?

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