Marketing & promotion of liquor products

by | Jun 1, 2020 | Covid-19

In addition to the Q&A circulated on 29 May 2020, we would like to draw your attention to some key elements, as per the liquor industry’s undertaking of self-regulation.

As an outcome of the deliberations between the Department of Trade, Industry & Competition (DTIC) and the liquor industry, a set of guidelines on the opening of liquor outlets have been agreed to. Please pay special attention to the sections pertaining to Promotions and Advertising. Read more


Promotional activities will be confined to ensuring the availability of product, not for attracting more people to any retail outlet than necessary. Liquor outlets will also not aim to promote higher consumption due to keener pricing to consumers, such as, “buy three, get one free”.  However, to ensure competition laws are adhered to, this will in no way limit suppliers from offering independently determined discounts to outlets, or for outlets to independently determine the prices at which they sell to consumers.

We would like to clarify and highlight the following:

  • Quantity restrictions – the industry will self-regulate in order to limit the quantity available for sale in any one transaction, so as to support and promote responsible and moderate consumption.
  • No visible direct discounting in % or R-value, on any platform and/or within any off-consumption premises.
  • As mentioned, No “buy three, get one free” promotions.
  • This is seen as a temporary arrangement until 19 June 2020, when it will be reviewed.
  • Offering free delivery and/or a discount on delivery, is an acceptable practice in the world of e-commerce.


  • Advertising self-regulating guidelines will have to be re-assessed in line with COVID-19 sensitivities, at the end of level 3.
  • Advertisements will include disclaimers that they were shot or flighted prior to COVID-19 where possible.
  • Corporate messaging that supports COVID-19 messaging will be allowed.
  • We will ensure that responsible alcohol consumption messages are visible on both digital and online platforms at all times.
  • Out-of-home messaging (such as billboards) that is currently in the market will be allowed until the end of existing contracts.
  • New out-of-home messaging must be COVID-19 sensitive.
  • COVID-19 sensitive messages includes images that adhere to social distancing guidelines, hygiene practices, staying at home and masks (where applicable).
  • We commit to using our media platforms and advertising content to encourage adequate changes in behaviour and promote responsible consumption of liquor in all relevant marketing material.
  • Generally, adverts should not depict images that will increase the spread of the virus and they will be in full compliance with the AWARE guidelines during level 3. This will be re-assessed at the end of level 3.
  • No printed pamphlets will be used during level 3, other than those showing product and price details in store to inform consumers and on websites.


  • Responsible messaging should be top of mind and the already implemented AWARE Code of Communication should be executed accordingly – to be visible on your website, social media platforms and/or in your tasting rooms.
  • Call the National COVID-19 hotline for health-related questions on 0800 029 999.
  • A dedicated task team is also looking into combatting illicit trade, of which we will keep you posted. Call the Consumers Good Council SA Hotline number for crime-related incidents on 0800 014 856 (reserved, still to be activated in due course).

We realise the enormous challenges in the wine industry and that all of our members have to tend to a number of activities, while working around the clock to activate much-needed revenue streams and cash-flow.

The industry also recognises the need to ensure responsible sales and consumption during the National State of Disaster, so that we can mitigate any potentially harmful impacts on Government’s ability to manage the spread of COVID-19.

This is then a friendly call to action for us as an industry to ensure that all of our practices are conducive to the safe and responsible sale of liquor.


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