Scouring the streets
for youngsters hanging around , the TV crews reporting on the government's Youth Alcohol Action Plan weren't short on quotes from kids about why they - or their peers - drink alcohol. Boredom was frequently cited by the assembled groups - but Westminster takes a much broader view, saying they drink to be social and relax, the same as anyone else really. And parents, too, appreciate that the problem is fuelled by a wide range of issues beyond not having a local ice rink.
That there is some apparent unity between parents and ministers is encouraging
- we've long argued that education and guidance
are key. But harnessing the impact of this potential new partnership
turning it into real results
be a big challenge.
And, what would constitute a victory in the government's mind anyway?
The report already shows that the number of young people (aged 11-15 ) who drink regularly is falling, and the number of shops failing test
purchase stings has, "in recent years", come down from 50%
to 15% . It even estimates that the off-trade is responsible for selling, at the most, 10% of the alcohol that is consumed under
Great strides have already been made by the trade, from embracing Challenge 21 to voluntary in-house test purchasing. It's all proof that retailers are switched
on to the issues
and are respond ing to them.
As ministers leaf through the KPMG audit of the industry's self-regulation, expected to see the full light of day this summer, let's hope these efforts aren't over looked.
Sadly, if ludicrous comments by Nottinghamshire
chief constable Steve Green, who says all alcohol should be removed from shelves and sold over the counter, are anything to go by, we can't bet on it.
The Daily sale
Who could have expected that Lidl's target shopper and readers of the The Mail on Sunday would one day happily occupy the same
While the retailer has frequently used the daily version of the paper to carry adverts for its beguiling mix of snorkelling masks, duvet covers and Tyrol ham, it now plans to spread the word through the title's more upmarket weekend supplements.
hopes of trading shoppers up, all the signs suggest that everyone, even AB consumers, want cheaper goods - or at least more value. That's why Asda's three-for-£10 wine mechanic appears to be making inroads and brewers - the biggest advertisers of all with spends often topping £30 million - are no longer having any cut through, other than on price.