Anti-binge drinking campaign reminds people to know their limits
A new advertising campaign including a video which confronts young people with the reality of their drunken behaviour was unveiled by Home Office Minister Alan Campbell today.
The centrepiece of this year’s Know Your Limits campaign is a new internet viral advert which shows footage of people’s sober reactions when asked to behave as they would if drunk.
A presenter asks members of the public to smear vomit on themselves, pinch a stranger’s bum and fight. His demands escalate to glassing another person and throwing a bin through a window. The advert captures people’s expressions when confronted with what some people will do when they’re drunk.
Alongside this, the campaign includes a partnership with Channel 4 television show Hollyoaks which will lead to a new hard-hitting online drama to support the campaign’s messages.
The drama will be hosted on the E4.com website alongside information on the dangers of excessive drinking and guidance on where young people can get help and advice. It will also use social networking sites to promote the Know Your Limits messages.
This year’s campaign, which aims to change the behaviour of 18 to 24 year olds who binge drink, includes two new poster adverts and a new radio ad. A number of last year’s adverts, which made two thirds of 17 to 24 year olds who saw say they would reconsider their behaviour, will also be shown.
Home Office Minister Alan Campbell said: “We are committed to tackling the minority of people whose irresponsible drinking contributes to the alcohol-related crime and disorder which costs the UK up to £13 billion every year, not to mention the effect it has on the lives of millions of decent people.
“Government is already undertaking a wide range of actions including giving police more powers and resources to tackle disruptive drinkers and consulting on new rules to ensure that businesses that sell alcohol are doing it responsibly.
“This campaign is about challenging people to think twice about the consequences of binge drinking and is the next step towards making people understand that excessive binge drinking is not acceptable.”
Chief Constable of Northumbria and ACPO national spokesperson on alcohol and licensing Mike Craik said: “As the summer festival season approaches, the police service would urge young people to think about the amount that they may be drinking and to drink responsibly.
“Last year alone, thousands of arrests were made by the police for offences relating to drunkenness. People who drink to excess put themselves in unnecessary danger and can lead to people taking risks that they would never consider while sober – as this most recent campaign demonstrates.”
Alcohol Concern Chief Executive Don Shenker said: “We’re very happy to support this new campaign. Not only does binge drinking in many cases lead to involvement in accidents and violence, but regular bingeing can also be a precursor to later, harmful drinking behaviour.
“It’s vital that we challenge the attitude widespread among young people that socialising must always involve heavy drinking, even if it leads to regrettable behaviour. This will take time, but campaigns, especially combined with action to encourage responsible selling of alcohol, can make an important contribution to that process.”
The Government has already introduced a wide range of measures to tackle harmful drinking and its wider consequences since launching its Alcohol Strategy in 2007.
- enforcement campaigns to tackle under-age sales and selling to drunks including £3 million of alcohol-related partnership activity funding given to 198 areas;
- a £1.5 million enforcement campaign to tackle alcohol-related crime and disorder in the 50 top priority areas;
- developing 13 alcohol arrest referral pilots to tackle alcohol-related offending, with an additional 6 pilots focussed on young people;
- running a series of regional workshops to train over 1,200 front line enforcers, including police, PCSOs and licensing authority staff, on the effective use of the many tools and powers that are already available to them; and
- introducing new powers to deal with young people drinking in public through the Policing and Crime Bill including:
- tightening the offence of persistently selling alcohol to children to 2 strikes within 3 months rather than 3 strikes within 3 months;
- allowing police to confiscate sealed containers of alcohol from children without proving the child intended to consume it;
- extending police powers to issue directions to leave to those aged 10-15; and
- introducing a new offence of persistently possessing alcohol in public, so a young person can be prosecuted if they are caught 3 times within a year.
The Know Your Limits advertising campaign runs from June to September and will include TV, radio and billboard advertising.