United Kingdom

This page contains information on statutory alcohol marketing
regulations in the UK (table 1); a description of the restrictions per medium (table 2); labelling information (table 3); information on non-statutory alcohol marketing regulations (table 4); the complaints procedure; and lastly a summary about the British regulations on alcohol marketing.

The controls in the UK cover broadcast, print and online advertising are a mix of co-regulation (with Ofcom) and self-regulation , administered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Portman Group. The Portman Code covers marketing such as sponsorship, promotion and product

Update: December 2017

Table 1Statutory Alcohol marketing regulations in Great BritainCoverage
justicebnwCommunications Act 2003TV and radio. However, this law provides a legal backstop for the self regulation codes in the UK, but does not contain provisions on alcohol marketing or alcohol advertising.
Table 2 Statutory regulations per mediumType of restrictions
Outdoor marketingOutdoor AdvertisingNone
Printed mediaPrint mediaNone
Internet/digital mediaOnlineNone
Promotional itemssales promotionsNone
(Sports) sponsorshipsponsorshipNone
Table 3 Labelling informationDescriptionLegally binding or self-regulation
Health warnings:Marketing communications must not encourage consumers to drink and drive. Marketing communications must, where relevant, include a prominent warning on the dangers of drinking and driving and must not suggest that the effects of drinking alcohol can be masked.Self-regulation (Article 4.6 The CAP Code The UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing)
Ingredients/nutritional informationNo
Table 4 Non-statutory Alcohol marketing regulations in Great BritainCoverage
The CAP Code:
The UK Code of
Advertising, Sales
Promotion and
Direct Marketing
Cinema, sponsoring, internet/digital media, outdoor, print, promotional items, direct marketing
Portman Group Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging, and Promotion of
Naming and packaging;
Sale activities and materials;
Websites, sponsorship, press releases, branded merchandise, advertorials and
Does not apply to any materials or activities whose purpose is solely and
clearly to educate under 18s about the use and misuse of alcohol.
Does not apply to any marketing covered under the ASA codes (below). Alcoholic beverages > 0.5% VOL.
Alcoholic ‘drinks’, even if they are classified as foodstuffs rather than drinks for the purposes of licensing or customs and excise legislation, or even if they appear to be solid or heavily textured, rather than liquid.
TV and Radio Advertising Standards Code BCAPTV, radio. Advertising on all services licensed by Ofcom (spot advertisements,
promotions, sponsorship; etc..; does not cover product placement).
This Rule excludes promotion of radio stations’ own-branded activities, goods
and events (such as websites, T-shirts and concerts) which enhance listener
involvement and are not designed to make a profit or promote commercial
partnerships. Alcoholic beverages > 0,5 % VOL.
Link to report:
Prior to sponsoring an event, team or activity, drinks companies must use their reasonable endeavours to obtain data on the expected participants, audience or spectator profile to ensure that at least the aggregate of 75% are aged over 18


  • The following document contains an in depth (but older) overview of alcohol marketing regulations in Great Britain: alcohol-marketing-regulations-Great-Britain.pdf
  • Actual information (2017) about the current self-regulation code in the UK:
    click here 
  • In this context EUCAM also refers to the information about alcohol marketing regulation in the UK of the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) : click here