Robson Brown Balance campaign fends off Drinks Industry complaints

April 23, 2014

After an in depth, and very thorough, consultation process by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) we’re delighted to announce that, in partnership with the team at Balance, we’ve been successful in fighting off a spirited industry challenge to the claims made in our recent Balance Tumour TV campaign.

The claim that the more you drink and the more often you drink increases the risk of cancer and the visual depiction of what can be classed as regular/routine drinking was vociferously disputed by the industry, led by the British Beer and Pub Association. They complained that the TV ad highlighting the link between alcohol and cancer was misleading and irresponsible.

We can understand their apprehension about this campaign but the fact of the matter is, research shows that alcohol is responsible for around 12,500 cases of cancer each year in the UK, with hospital admissions for alcohol-related cancers increasing by 28 per cent in the last 10 years.

The World Health Organisation categorises alcohol as a Class 1 carcinogen, the same as tobacco, and the independent evidence base makes clear that the more you drink and the more often you drink, the more you increase your risk of developing cancer.  In fact expert reports have concluded that there is no lower limit of alcohol drinking where cancer risk isn’t increased.

Our client, Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, said: “We are delighted at the ASA’s decision – this is a real victory for the health community.” And from an RB point of view we are pleased that this strongly provocative and compelling piece of work will continue to communicate these key messages to the North East and beyond.

Perhaps the icing on the cake is the fact that we learned last week that it has also been nominated for a TV and Cinema Award at the 2014 Roses Awards – great recognition of a campaign we are proud of.