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New BBPA ‘Challenge 21’ proof-of-age poster for pubs shows military ID for the first time


Britain’s pubs are as popular with our armed forces as with the rest of the country – and to coincide with Armed Forces Day this Saturday, the BBPA has updated its iconic ‘Challenge 21’ poster to include military ID as an acceptable form of proof-of-age.

The change follows revised guidance issued by the Home office in July 2012, which the BBPA supported, to help ensure that that door supervisors and licensees know how to recognise the different types of military ID and can therefore accept it on the door, or when buying a drink.

The BBPA’s ‘Challenge 21’ campaign tackles underage sales, by making it clear that if you look under 21, you will be asked to provide ID to prove you are over 18 if you attempt to buy a drink. The BBPA’s Challenge 21 poster has become a common sight in pubs, with the association having distributed over 300,000 Challenge 21 posters to pubs in the past seven years.

Andrew Robathan MP, Minister of State for the Armed Forces, who joined Brigid Simmonds in the Westminster Arms to launch the poster, comments:

“We are delighted that servicemen and women should now always be served in pubs and clubs as they can use their military ID cards to prove their age. I would urge all door staff and publicans to accept this as proof of age, which has been approved. I am grateful to the BBPA for supporting this change.”

Brigid Simmonds, BBPA Chief Executive, adds:

“The use of Military ID has in the past caused some service personnel difficulties, as their ID understandably wasn’t as well recognised by licensees and door staff.

“Our Armed Forces make a huge contribution to our country. It has got to be right that the ID of our service personnel should be acceptable as proof-of-age under Challenge 21, and the revised guidance has made it easier for pub staff to become familiar with the relevant types of ID card. I’m delighted that we should soon see our new Challenge 21 posters going up in pubs.”

Notes to editors:

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 50,000 pubs.

Photo Caption:
Armed Forces Minister Andrew Robathan MP with Brigid Simmonds OBE, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, at the Westminster Arms near Parliament (A Shepherd Neame pub), with the BBPA’s new Challenge 21 poster. For a high res pic email

New BBPA Challenge 21 posters are available to download for free here. Copies are available for BBPA Members.

Approved ID listed on the posters are:

· Card bearing PASS hologram
· UK military ID
· Passport
· Driving licence

Home Office guidance on use of military ID is available here. The guidance was issued in July 2012.
To order Challenge 21 posters, please visit the BBPA shop.


» New Challenge 21 poster launch photo


Corporate Social Responsibility, Pubs

For further information contact:

Neil Williams
Head of Media
Tel: 020 7627 9156 / 07974 249 779

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