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Drinks industry launches public campaign against minimum pricing

Published:  25 January, 2013


The drinks industry is to launch the first consumer-facing campaign to mobilise mass opposition to the government's minimum unit pricing plans.


The Wine & Spirit Trade Association has galvanised the support of major supermarkets and drinks brands to launch a consumer campaign under the "Why Should Responsible Drinkers Pay More" banner. A dedicated website is due to go live next Tuesday. Retail backers include Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons with drinks suppliers on board including SAB Miller and Diageo.


The site will include information about how minimum unit pricing will affect beer wines and spirits products and tell consumers how to send a letter calling for their MP's support on the issue. It will be backed by a radio and PR campaign.


"A 45p minimum unit pricing will increase the price of regular shopping basket items like beers wine and spirits and not just target binge drinkers," said WSTA chief executive Miles Beale.

Under 45p minimum unit pricing, a bottle of wine at 13% abv would cost at least £4.39, and £4.88 if the minimum unit price was 50p.


A bottle of 70cl vodka at 37.5% abv would cost at least £11.81 under 45p and £13.13 under 50p minimum unit pricing, while a 70cl bottle of whisky at 40% abv would rise to £12.60 or £14.


"We've done a decent job so far on talking to the political classes about this, but we need ordinary people to understand what the government is proposing and for their voices to be heard.


"Consumers are voters too, and our research shows the more people find out about minimum  pricing, the less they like it. Minimum pricing is unfair, probably illegal, and won't tackle the problem of binge drinking. " said Beale.


The Home Office's Alcohol Strategy consultation closes on February 6 with potential legislation expected to be revealed in the Queen's Speech in May.


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