The drinks giant’s guide, issued to employees to self-regulate its marketing, prevents it from implying consumption of its products, alone or with a mixer, delivers energy benefits or increases stamina.
The in-house rules mean Diageo is prohibited from linking any of its brands, such as Smirnoff vodka, with a soft drink that claims to boost energy levels.
Diageo GB’s corporate relations manager Tom Evrard said: “We would never create a drink that was partnered with Red Bull or Monster, for example. It’s not acceptable to depict that alcohol can energise or stimulate that drinker.
“We avoid co-branding in all means of commercial communications with products perceived as energisers. We don’t want to communicate that alcohol can give you more energy or increase your enjoyment of the night.”?The code’s section on energy drinks also prohibits the use of “suggestive drink names which imply energising, stimulating or invigorating properties”, or advert-?ising products in a way that suggests they are “the catalyst for any change in energy, state of alertness or states of mental or physical relaxation”.
A code of practice on the sale of energy drinks, published by the British Soft Drinks Association last month, stopped short of barring retailers from promoting spirits and energy drinks together.
Alcoholic drinks with a high caffeine content came under fire from the Scottish Labour party earlier this year. Its proposals included forcing products with more than 150mg of caffeine per litre of alcohol to change their recipe or be banned.