Britain's Beer Alliance cuts film short to highlight demise of pubs

Rise in beer duty planned for autumn budget.

Britain's Beer Alliance is celebrating the power of the great British pub with a 30-minute documentary detailing the threats facing the institution. 

The work, by Havas London, follows the slow demise of East Sussex’s The Horns Lodge as it struggles to stay afloat amid a wave of financial taxes, including VAT and business rates.

A long list of quirky regulars are detailed at length, from The Naked Gardener and Miserable Mick to Nick "The Hat" and his wife, Cheesecake Lynn.

The documentary is abruptly cut short with an image of the (now closed) Horns Lodge, which shut its doors at the beginning of this year, leaving the remaining 24 minutes of the spot with the plea: "Three pubs a day close their doors for good. Sign the petition to cut beer tax."

The spot warns of the government’s impending increase in beer duty. It was temporarily postponed last year, partly due to the efforts of the Long Live the Local petition, which received 116,000 signatures, and 50,000 people who wrote to their MP.

David Cunningham, programme director of Long Live the Local, said: "We are seeing even more support from pub-goers and publicans this year, driven by more emotive and powerful creative such as these films.

"When we deliver the petition to No10, we believe as many as 200,000 people will have signed and close to 100,000 will have written to their MP, demonstrating just how much people care about local pubs."

The documentary is accompanied by three shorter films detailing the perks of pubs for local communities, live music and sport, a content partnership with LadBible, social and digital activity, and an OOH poster campaign in football stadiums.

The work has been created by written by Simon Connor, art directed by Stephen Cross and directed by Chris Smith through Smuggler. Smith previously directed the Netflix documentary Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. 

This article first appeared on PRWeek sister title Campaign

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