Advertising Non-Alcoholic Beverages – New Rules are Coming

Thursday 5th May 2022

The ground is shifting when it comes to advertising non-alcoholic beverages, and it is not you have had ‘a few too many’.

What’s Happening When it Comes to Advertising Non-Alcoholic Beverages?

Thanks to its soaring popularity, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) which regulates advertising across all forms of media in the UK, is consulting on advertising zero % alcohol products (drinks with less than 0.5% alcohol).

Drinks with 0.5% alcohol or less are considered to be ‘non-alcoholic’. Therefore, drink marketers may legally advertise their products as non-alcoholic even if it contains alcohol (0.5% ABV or less). For some consumers, however, even the smallest amount of alcohol can be of material significance, such as for health or religious reasons.

What are the Proposals From ASA?

The proposed new rules on advertising ‘alcohol alternatives’ (0.5% ABV or less) include:

  • To define the term ‘alcohol alternatives’;
  • To include a statement of its ABV (alcohol by volume);
  • If an advert for an alcoholic alternative refers to and promotes an alcoholic drink, the marketing rules relating to alcoholic drinks apply in full;
  • To not appeal to under 18’s;
  • Actors in adverts must be over 25.

The tricky part for the ASA is defining ‘alcohol alternatives’. If it gets it wrong, it risks alienating a growing industry of non-alcohol drinks makers.

The consultation can be responded to via adpolicy@cap.org.uk but time is running out and it closes on 5 May 2022.

For more information, contact Gordons LLP’s food and drink experts Mark Jones at Mark.Jones@gordonllp.com and Harvey Blake at Harvey.Blake@gordonsllp.com.