Modern Marketing Awards Case Studies

How the Long Live The Local campaign delivered a freeze on UK Beer Duty

By Awards Analyst | The Drum Awards

One Green Bean


The Drum Awards article

October 1, 2021 | 5 min read

One Green Bean won the ‘Hospitality’ category at The Drum Awards for PR 2021 with its Long Live The Local campaign. Here, the team behind the winning entry reveal the behind-the-scenes secrets of this successful project...

The challenge

Long Live The Local has been petitioning for a cut in Beer Duty since 2018, to reduce the financial pressure on Britain’s pub owners. On 11th March 2020, we secured a freeze in Beer Duty at the Budget. Nine days later, every single pub in th UK closed due to COVID-19. Millions of pints were poured down the drain. By the end of 2020, five pubs a day were forced to close their doors for good.

Hospitality 1

Publican and model Jodie Kidd was the face of the campaign.

Despite this, Beer Duty was set to increase at the March 2021 Budget with political sentiment suggesting the government felt it had done enough to help pubs during the crisis.

We needed to:

  • Raise mass awareness of the issue by engaging media in the conversation and put it on the radar of the British public.
  • Reach and influence political decision makers.

The strategy

Since 2018, Long Live The Local petitions have gained almost 400,000 signatures to cut beer duty, spanning geography, age and gender. For the March 2021 push, we were speaking to an incredibly broad audience and our media strategy needed to reflect this.

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We knew that activitists over indexed in traditional print media, so this formed a huge focus for our media efforts, ensuring we landed a familiar face and campaign imagery to put it back on top of their agenda.

As TV reclaimed its position as the preferred platform for news during lockdown, broadcast media was a critical channel focus, ensuring we had the right voice to speak to the industry’s concerns and land agenda-setting coverage on BBC and Sky News.

Alongside reaching the public, we also needed to ensure decision makers were exposed to our messaging. Regional media, read by local MPs, and agenda-setting titles with political commentary such as broadsheets would be vital.


The campaign

We partnered with model and publican, Jodie Kidd, to champion our cause. As a pub landlady herself, Jodie could speak authentically and personally, ensuring emotional resonance with our audience.

Like the rest of the hospitality industry, Jodie’s pub had closed due to the pandemic. We needed imagery to visually demonstrate the threat of permanent closures that hundreds of pubs could face. We captured shots of Jodie sat in the middle of her pub surrounded by piled up tables and chairs, dramatizing the issue to ensure cut-through.

Media time with Jodie was also supported by statistics highlighting the disparity of Beer Duty between the UK and the rest of Europe, the impact of Covid-19 on beer sales and how much of the price of a pint goes towards Beer Duty.

The Express Online led with the headline, “Save our pubs! Rishi urged to slash beer duty in Budget – EU tax three times LESS than UK’s”. Jodie also spoke about the impact of pubs on social lives, asking the audience to imagine a life returned to normal, with no pubs left to celebrate in. The MailOnline lead with the headline, “Model-turned-publican Jodie Kidd urges Rishi Sunak to slash beer duty to save struggling pubs after Covid-19 lockdowns.”

The results

Key results included:

  • 447 Pieces of coverage.
  • 95% Media take up of research & statistics.
  • 44 Million total reach.
  • 193% Exceeded KPIs.
  • Beer Duty Frozen.

On 3 March 2021, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced he would cancel the planned increase in beer duty, despite huge pressures on the public finances. In media interviews he gave ahead of the Budget, Rishi stated that he was directly influenced by our campaign.

In an interview with The Times, Rishi said, “Jodie makes a broader point that’s important - the hospitality industry is really essential to the British economy….and the life and soul of our towns, our villages.”

This project was a winner at The Drum Awards for PR 2021. To find out which Drum Awards are currently open for entry, click here.

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