Responsibility Alcohol Awareness

Alcohol Awareness

Marston’s recognises that excessive drinking can be harmful to health and has social consequences. There is a heightened level of responsibility expected of us as a producer, distributor and retailer of alcohol.

We are committed to the responsible retailing of alcohol and supportive of a range of measures including education, to encourage responsible consumption of alcohol.

Marston’s is a long-standing member of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), and the Company continues to be a signatory to the Portman Group Code which promotes responsible attitudes towards drinking alcohol. We have made a significant investment in e-learning tools, which all Marston’s Inns and Taverns pub staff must complete. A core part of our investment in e-learning is the identification of potential under-age drinkers. The Company also runs similar training to ensure tenants and lessees and franchise and operators are aware of their responsibilities in this area.

  • At Marston’s: We use an independent test purchase service to check compliance with the law on under-age drinking. We employ the services of Serve Legal to test our compliance and in the past 12 months over 800 test purchases have been completed
  • All our retail staff complete e-learning training on drug and alcohol abuse and the identification of potential underage drinkers
  • None of our pubs operate a 24 hour licence
  • We expect our managers to play an active part in any local Pubwatch and Best Bar None initiatives

Challenge 21/25

All premises selling or supplying alcohol are required to have an age verification policy in place which will require staff to check the ID of anyone appearing to be under the age of 18, or any such age specified in the policy.

Marston’s have adopted the Challenge 21/25 policy where we ask for identification from anyone we believe to be under the age of 21 or 25

This year over 940,000 challenges were made by our staff asking for acceptable proof of age prior to service. Our internal audits completed externally by consultants ensure that training in completed and that C21/25 posters are being displayed in our pubs.

Pricing and promotions have their place in today’s market place. It is, however, reliant on all those involved in the marketing of the products we sell to ensure that these products are sold responsibly. As such we support the Portman Group’s Code of Practice, and adhere to the BBPA standards for Point of Sale promotions.

Our promotional activity will therefore not:

  • Have any association with anti-social behaviour or violence
  • Appeal to under 18s rather than adults
  • Have any association with illegal drugs
  • Suggest that alcohol can enhance mental or physical capabilities
  • Encourage irresponsible or excessive drinking
  • Involve drinking games as outlined in the Licensing Act 2003 (Mandatory Licensing Conditions) (Amendment) Order 2014
  • Involve driving in any way

An institutional approach to managing student alcohol consumption in a UK university

Drinking is a popular pastime that, in moderation, gives pleasure to millions. Yet at the same time alcohol presents the second largest lifestyle-related cause of disease in Europe after smoking. Marston’s PLC takes responsible drinking seriously which is why it is co-funding, along with Keele University, MSc graduate Kara Holloway to undertake a three-year PhD project aiming to address problematic student drinking.

Higher education students are at particular risk due to increased consumption compared with similarly aged adults. The PhD will implement strategies to encourage Keele University students to drink alcohol responsibly and will be underpinned by rigorous empirical assessment of student alcohol consumption levels so that changes in drinking practices can be measured.

Kara will be part-based in Keele’s Student Support Services to facilitate crucial interactions with stakeholders and to identify and negotiate suitable strategies. Pertinent stakeholders include university management, the Student Union, the students themselves, police, local council, local NHS Trust, as well as local alcohol and other substance misuse agencies. Strategies are yet to be determined but may include brief motivational enhancement interventions, challenging alcohol expectancies or increasing the price of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol consumption data will be collected via a series of online surveys supplemented by face-to-face meetings.

The interventions implemented within this PhD will lead to a demonstrable decrease in high risk drinking among the student body. They will be widely disseminated in order that comparable institutions can better manage high risk drinking. Kara will become equipped with the practical, theoretical and research skills to enter a career in alcohol research or in alcohol use management.