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Questionable tactics in marketing
Alcohol producers are using questionable tactics to market their beer and liqour brands in the developing world. This is one of the conclusions in a study covering selected advertisements from seven countries.
The UK regulatory system focuses on seven key themes in alcohol marketing, which forbid associations between alcohol and youth appeal, personal/social success, sexual success, driving (sport), immoderate drinking, aggression/toughness, and strength and power. These criteria correspond well with those often used in individual alcohol companies’ own codes of conduct.
Says the Executive Summary: The results of this analysis found multiple breaches according to the UK codes. In several cases, promotions breached more than one theme from the codes. Seven communications linked alcohol with strength and power, six with sexual success, and four with both personal/social success, and youth appeal. The findings suggest that alcohol producers are using questionable tactics to market brands in the developing world. The industry should re-examine its strategies accordingly, and marketing practitioners should develop more socially responsible practices. Critical social marketing studies such as this can also feed into the upstream arena to inform policy and regulation relating to alcohol marketing, as well as downstream social marketing interventions to address drinking behaviours.”
Cases studied included also brands from large multi-national corporations such as Guinness Foreign Extra owned by Diageo, and Knock Out beer owned by SAB Miller, which associated their products with aggression, strength, virility and power in their marketing. The report also points at the use of strength, power, sexual, social and personal success which could be perceived to be imposing Western neo-liberal social and cultural values and norms, on developing countries.