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I’m well aware that commercial companies are basically interested in making money, and rarely show much interest in defending the rights of their own consumers. But, even, so, I was taken aback to see this advert from Pernod Ricard in today’s Times.

As I’ve argued before on here, I believe having a few drinks in pubs before the age of 18 is unlikely to do people any harm and indeed may help with learning to drink responsibly. While drinking at home under the age of 18 under parental supervision is not illegal, is not “underage drinking”, and is widely believed to lead to a more responsible attitude to alcohol in later life.

I wouldn’t expect drinks companies to openly condone this message, but on the other hand neither would I expect them to go so far in condemning it, especially when company executives must know very well they are in effect attacking their own responsible adult consumers.

This really is appeasement of the most pathetic kind – no matter how far they go in parroting the anti-drink message, they will never satisfy the neo-Prohibitionists.