The industry-funded There’s a Beer for That campaign is to be re-purposed as a vehicle to raise awareness of the problem of excessive beer duty.

There are fears that, unless action is taken now, year-on-year increases could make the traditional beer with family and friends in a local pub only affordable for a privileged few, leading to lower sales, more pub closures and loss of jobs.

Programme director, David Cunningham, said: “Since its launch in 2014, the campaign has been successful in reigniting Britain’s love of beer by promoting the quality, diversity and versatility of beer. It has reached an audience of over 50 million people through an integrated multi-channel campaign, including TV, posters, press, events, festivals, social and digital and activation in the on and off trade, gaining nationwide support, recognition and awards along the way. As a result, all key image scores for beer quality, diversity and versatility have improved significantly over the last four years.

“We have continued to review and challenge the strategic direction taken to ensure that the campaign remains relevant for consumers and for the industry. In our recent strategic review, we assessed the key issues identified when the campaign began and found they are no longer the major barriers to beer and pub growth.

“Four years on, the beer category is more vibrant and in better health. This is due to the renaissance the beer category has experienced over the last few years, helped by the campaign and driven by the whole industry getting people to think differently about beer.”

Threat

While exact details of the new campaign are still to be finalised, it is expected to focus on two key messages. Firstly, it will promote the positive multi-faceted story of beer and pubs, and secondly it will raise awareness of the threat facing the great British tradition of having a beer with family and friends in the local pub, as well as the negative impact this could have, in a post-Brexit Britain, on pubs, jobs, the economy, society and the sense of community.

David said: “We will continue with the same industry-wide collaborative approach to develop and deliver a new campaign, building on the BBPA’s and other industry bodies’ successful ‘cut beer duty’ campaigns, but significantly up-weighting the focus and investment behind the consumer and trade initiatives.

“This will not only increase awareness but also drive real change in consumer and industry staff attitude and behaviour towards the impact of ever increasing duty on prices of beer in pubs.

“It is right that we react to the changing issues and threats the industry faces and, having reviewed the campaign objectives in the context of the historic and future planned duty increases that have devastated the beer and pub industry, we must turn our attention to addressing these threats.

“All campaigns need to change and adapt to the changing needs of consumers and the industry. I’m proud that There’s A Beer For That has delivered such impressive results and proven that the industry is better off working together collaboratively to tackle category wide challenges.”

Picture Jessica Spengler (Flickr creative commons)

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