The Dangers of Alcohol Deregulation: The United Kingdom Experience
A new report, The Dangers of Alcohol Deregulation: The United Kingdom Experience, exposes why the United Kingdom currently is facing an alcohol epidemic and how it can be avoided so a similar epidemic does not happen in the United States.
Click here to download report
What is this campaign?
This campaign is designed to stop efforts to de-regulate the sale and marketing of alcohol.
Because alcohol is not an ordinary commodity such as tires or mayonnaise, it must be sold with care and restraint.
Examples in other parts of the world demonstrate that alcohol and the "free marketplace" are a bad mix because they produce major social problems.
Why do we need it?
Since the 1980's de-regulation of business has become a popular by-word.
It is seen as a way to envigorate business and facilitate the benefits of a nationalized or globalized marketplace.
However, as we have seen with the recent mortgage meltdown, an unregulated marketplace is not without problems.
Such problems are even greater with alcohol, as increased purchasing and consumption can produce a great deal of social harm.
Nevertheless, there are very active efforts to deregulate the sale and marketing of alcohol.
Deregulation advocates claim that our current marketplace regulations are "antiquated" and should be eliminated.
What business practices can produce social harm?
Several normal business practices-legitimate for other commodities-can be harmful with the sale of alcohol.
Marketing to frequent buyers to get them to increase purchases:
A major portion of frequent purchases of alcohol are alcoholics, heavy drinkers and underage youth.
Efforts to market to this population will likely increase addiction, heavy use and underage drinking.
Volume discounts, coupons and price incentives:
These techniques are usually used to gain new customers or encourage current customers to enter the "frequent buyer" category.
With alcohol, this could induce people to become heavy users or addicts.
Marketing for future customers:
Forward looking businesses often try to capture the hearts of young people as future customers.
However, with alcohol that would mean marketing to an underage audience where alcohol is already a major problem.
What do marketplace regulations do?
The overarching goal is to prevent large quantities of cheap alcohol marketed to vulnerable populations.
This is accomplished by regulations which keep prices reasonable, prevent marketing to youth and heavy consumers and to prevent marketplace domination.
Marketplace domination can result in lower prices, heavy promotion and efforts to push others out of business.
Those who are pushed may be tempted to violate rules in order to survive.