Code of Practice

12 May 2015

The industry has developed a Code of Practice setting out minimum standards for the marketing and promotion of Scotch Whisky. It is supported by a complaints procedure.

Code of Practice for the Responsible Marketing and Promotion of Scotch Whisky

The Code covers all commercial communications including advertising, promotional materials and sponsorship. It has international reach setting out best practice for Scotch Whisky producers in export markets where stricter national codes do not exist.

The Code of Practice, a condition of membership for all members of the SWA, is backed by an Independent Complaints Panel. The Panel has a range of sanctions at its disposal.

The Code is kept under regular review to ensure that it keeps paces with change in new marketing techniques and technologies.

The third edition was published in March 2015 and is available to download below.


The Code of Practice includes a complaints procedure. Anyone who has concerns about Scotch Whisky marketing or promotion should, in the first instance, write to:

Head of Alcohol Policy
The Scotch Whisky Association
Quartermile Two, 2 Lister Square
Edinburgh EH3 9GL

Or you can send an email to

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