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How many units in YOUR drink? - BBPA unit-awareness campaign materials now available


For those unsure how many units are in their drink, help is at hand, as posters and other materials are now available for pubs as part of a new national campaign to raise awareness among pubgoers.

Launched by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the initiative is part of the new Public Health Responsibility Deal agreed between Government and alcohol retailers, with the BBPA pledged to promote much more visible alcohol unit information for consumers.

A number of BBPA member companies will be taking up the campaign as part of their own individual commitments to the Responsibility Deal – and materials are available on the BBPA website to all pubs and licensees to download - free of charge.

One such company is brewer and pub operator Marston’s, which runs a mix of tenanted and managed pubs. The campaign is being advertised in the company magazine in January, and materials are being placed on the company’s intranet site. Marston’s will directly supply 116,000 beer mats, 1,160 posters, and 25,000 tent cards to pubs, ensuring the materials will be displayed to customers nationally. The company is also supporting the campaign digitally where possible, and will feature the ‘lock up’ image on its web page and individual pub pages where appropriate.

The newly-designed posters, tent cards and beer mats feature the slogan ‘how many units in your drink?’ The final designs follow extensive research conducted with consumers and retailers in partnership with alcohol education charity Drinkaware. They reflect the research findings, which showed that pubgoers want clear information on the number of units in typical drinks in a way that presents the facts without adopting a nannying approach.

BBPA Chief Executive, Brigid Simmonds, comments:

“I am pleased that we are able to offer these materials. As part of the Government’s Responsibility Deal, these designs have been agreed with the Government, and incorporate the Chief Medical Officer’s responsible drinking guidelines. We should now see these campaign materials appearing in pubs up and down the country. It is clear that customers want to make informed choices when they are in the pub. A greater understanding of what you are drinking and how this relates to the Government’s guidelines is important for us all.”

Public Health Minister Anne Milton said:

"People’s understanding and awareness of alcohol units is still patchy. If advice on alcohol is going to mean something to people we must be able to know how much we’re drinking and compare that against the guidelines."

"We need to be able to make informed choices about how much we drink. This is why the British Beer and Pub Association campaign is important in making it easier for us all to understand how many units we're drinking in pubs and bars. I very much welcome the leadership they have shown."

Drinkaware Chief Executive Chris Sorek, comments:

“Today’s announcement is an important step in educating consumers about the units in alcohol and how they translate into their favourite drinks. We welcome the BBPA and its members’ commitment to deliver this informative consumer-friendly guide and look forward to seeing the campaign rolled out across the UK. We feel the “2-2-2-1” approach will quickly become the way people keep track of their units on a night out.”

Notes to editors:

High resolution images of the posters, tent cards and beer mats can be downloaded and printed by anyone, free of charge, now from the BBPA website here.

The BBPA also has limited supplies of posters available to its members. Contact Jim Cathcart,, 020 7627 9144.

The campaign materials were piloted over summer 2011 in selected BBPA member pubs. The poster adopts a ‘2-2-2-1’ approach, to show the units in a typical pint of 4% abv beer, a typical 330ml bottle of 5% beer, a 175ml glass of 12% wine, and a 25ml single of a 40% spirit.

In March 2010, beer producers and pub companies signed up to the commitments in the Government’s ‘Responsibility Deal’. The BBPA has signed up at industry level to all of the alcohol deal’s pledges and its core commitment of fostering responsible drinking.

BBPA members contribute over half of the funding for Drinkaware each year, to raise awareness about responsible drinking, have a good record on alcohol unit labelling, and are committed to community partnerships in the sector.

The industry also funds the £100 million ‘Why let good times go bad?’ campaign, a high-profile initiative using posters, beer mats and advertising at the point of sale to encourage a more responsible approach to alcohol amongst consumers.

Drinkaware provides consumers with information to make informed decisions about the effects of alcohol on their lives and lifestyles. Its public education programmes, grants, expert information, and resources help create awareness and effect positive change. An independent charity established in 2007, Drinkaware works alongside the medical profession, the alcohol industry and government to achieve its goals. For further information visit ([].

The Government advises that people should not regularly drink more than the daily unit guidelines of 3-4 units of alcohol for men (equivalent to a pint and a half of 4% beer) and 2-3 units of alcohol for women (equivalent to a 175 ml glass of wine). Regularly means drinking every day or most days of the week.

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 around half of Britain’s 51,000 pubs.

For further information please contact:

David Wilson: Public Affairs Director Tel: (020) 7627 9151
Gareth Barrett, Public Affairs Officer Tel: (020) 7627 9154
Kelly O’Sullivan, Senior Communications Officer, Drinkaware (020) 7766 9900


Corporate Social Responsibility, Regulation, Pubs

For further information contact:

David Wilson
Director of Public Affairs
Tel: 020 7627 9151 / 07557 436 033

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