Back to industry briefings

Self-Regulation of commercial communications

The system of advertising regulation governing alcoholic drinks in the UK combines both statutory regulation and self-regulation which is strictly adhered to.

There are a number of Codes of Practice covering different aspects of commercial communications all of which have special rules for the treatment of alcoholic drinks specifically designed to avoid the encouragement of misuse or appeal to under 18s. In addition to the codes television and radio advertising is subject to mandatory pre-clearance of advertising before broadcast by the Clearcast and the Radio Advertising Clearance Centre (RACC) respectively.

Special rules to ensure that advertising does not encourage misuse or appeal to under 18's

Anybody is free to complain if they have a problem with any advert. There are four main organisations which administer the different codes and appoint independent panels to review complaints.

  • TV & Radio: Ofcom
  • Print and other media: The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)
  • Naming, packaging and promotion: The Portman Group (TPG)

In addition to the general codes of practice many brewing companies are developing guidelines and codes of conduct to ensure that responsible practices including self-regulation for commercial communications, respect for the environment and research and education reach the same high standard wherever the company operates.


» Advertising Standards Agency
» The Portman Group