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15th February 2012

BBPA responds to Prime Minister’s comments

Responding to the Prime Minister’s remarks on alcohol issues today, David Wilson, BBPA director of Public Affairs, comments:

“We agree that we all need to play our part in ensuring that alcohol is enjoyed in a responsible and sociable way, but we must be careful to avoid policies that penalise consumers, shuts pubs, and put at risk the jobs of the one million people who work in the beer and pub sector.

“The Government should avoid measures that penalise the vast majority who enjoy alcohol sensibly. We need targeted measures to promote greater consumer awareness, and aimed at the minority who misuse alcohol.  The industry is playing a key part in this, and partnerships will deliver the best results.

“For pubs, the vast majority of people enjoy a drink in a safe and sociable manner.  Pubs have faced huge tax rises and extra red tape in recent years, with more in the pipeline, yet the drinks industry already contributes £16 billion taxes, in duty plus VAT, to the Treasury.  On tax policy, the Government could help, with tax policies that encourage lower-strength drinks like beer.”




Notes to editors:


The British Beer & Pub Association is the UK’s leading organisation representing the brewing and pub sector.  Its members account for 96 per cent of the beer brewed in the UK and own nearly two thirds of Britain’s 52,000 pubs.


The BBPA is working with Government through the Public Health Responsibility Deal and is rolling out a campaign to promote unit awareness in pubs. Pubs are also involved in many successful local partnerships to address town centre issues, such as Business Improvement Districts. Over 100 BIDs are now in existence across the UK and BBPA members contribute to many.  Other industry initiatives are as follows:


  • Challenge 21: Campaign to raise awareness of underage sales. The BBPA and its members have now circulated almost half a million Challenge 21 posters to British pubs.


  • Best Bar None:  An inclusive national awards scheme for licensed premises across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, rewarding and recognising industry good practice.


  • Campaign for Smarter Drinking: Launched in 2009, a £100 million social marketing campaign aimed at encouraging more responsible drinking among young adults.


  • Alcohol advisory labelling: UK brewers signed up to a voluntary agreement with the Department of Health in 2007 to put a number of advisory messages on their bottles and cans. Most recent results show that over 91 per cent of beer containers have unit labelling, over 80 per cent make reference to the Drinkaware website and over 75 per cent show a responsible drinking message.


  • Drinkaware: More than 3 billion products every year carry the Drinkaware logo with some 2 million people visiting the website for information each year. The BBPA encouraged its members to contribute funds to help raise £5 million a year in funding for Drinkaware for three years from 2010.


  • Purple Flag: An accreditation scheme run by the Association of Town Centre Managers. Purple Flag is the new ‘gold standard’ that recognises well-run entertainment and hospitality areas at night.


  • National Pubwatch: BBPA has lent support to NPW campaigns such as ‘Court not Caution’ NPW provides guidance and shares experience with pubs looking to establish Pubwatches in their area.



For further information please contact:

David Wilson: Public Affairs Director Tel: 020 7627 9151

Neil Williams, Communications Manager Tel: (020) 7627 9156 / 07974 249 779

Gareth Barrett, Public Affairs Officer Tel: (020) 7627 9154



Neil Williams

Communications Manager

British Beer & Pub Association

020 7627 9156

07974 249 779