Made To Be Measured

The Scotch Whisky Association
United Kingdom
2023 > Ongoing
#ReducingHarmfulDrinking #AwarenessRaising #SocialMedia


To promote responsible / mindful drinking and to focus on the appreciation for product quality rather than the quantity consumed.

To raise awareness of the alcohol content of drinks.

To raise awareness of the recommended weekly guidelines (units). 

To raise awareness of the unit equivalence between different drinks.


The campaign from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) was launched following research from the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland (all UK adults: No. 638) which found that awareness of the recommended guidance for weekly alcohol consumption remains low. 

  • Only 18% correctly identified the recommended maximum number of weekly units at 14: Up to 6 units: 16%; 7 to 13 units: 18%; 14 units: 18%; 14 to 21 units: 8%; 22 or more units: 2% and I don’t know: 38%.
  • The correct response of 14 units was higher amongst drinkers (19% vs 11% of non-drinkers), particularly those drinking more than 14 units per week (27% vs 17% who drink up to 14 units per week).
  • The older the drinker, the more likely they were to correctly identify the drinking guidelines of 14 units per week: 12% (18-34); 21% (35-54) and 23% (55+).
  • 23% of females correctly identified 14 units, compared to 15% of male drinkers.
  • 20% of white drinkers correctly identified 14 units, nearly double the 9% of drinkers from an ethnic minority background.

Also, there is a common misconception, for example, that a pint of 4.5% ABV (alcohol by volume) beer is lower in units than a single or even a double measure of 40% ABV Scotch whisky, when the reverse is true.

Therefore, as part of the SWA’s ongoing efforts to promote responsible consumption and tackle harmful drinking the campaign was launched to bridge the gap of understanding among adult consumers in Scotland.  It is the first consumer-facing responsible drinking campaign from the SWA and will be run over three-years. 

The campaign aims to drive awareness of the unit guidelines and how this equates to the volume of alcohol drank.  It also encourages people to track what they drink, so they can feel informed whilst they enjoy it, and encourages them to learn more about the units of alcohol in different drinks categories.  It is run across a range of digital and consumer platforms, all using creative advertising to help convey and clarify the units within Scotch Whisky and other alcoholic drinks. 

Visuals were created to help the consumer understand the differences between different alcoholic drinks and to give anyone who chooses to drink the information they need to make an informed decision about how many units they are consuming, and where that sits according to the Chief Medical Officers’ (CMO) low-risk drinking guidelines.  For example, the reasoning behand the Scotch image is:

  • Made to be Measured: “Measured” has a double meaning which conveys a mindful approach to drinking, and the importance of measuring out spirits in 25ml amounts (at 40% ABV).
  • The 25 ml / 1 unit line promotes unit understanding and the measurement of spirits like Scotch Whisky at 40% ABV.
  • Made to be measured / Savour your scotch: Scotch is best enjoyed by sipping and savouring: it is a spirit that has taken a minimum of three years to make.
  • Keep within the guidelines and do not regularly exceed 14 units of alcohol per week: One single 25ml measure of whisky (at 40% abv) comes in at one unit, with guidelines from Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer recommending consumers do not regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week. Fourteen units of alcohol equate to approximately 14 single measures (25ml) of spirits, one and a half bottles of wine or five pints of lager at average strength.


2023 - year one had three “bursts” of activation: May, August and December and reached over 800,000 adults across the country.

In August 2023, Made To Be Measured sponsored Holyrood Sources for the pod’s first live audience show. 

In early September 2023, the Scottish Government pledged to help to support the campaign ahead of the festive period to communicate the message further.  First Minister Humza Yousaf said: “The whisky industry’s willingness to raise awareness of alcohol misuse and the health risks associated with high consumption of alcohol, through the Scotch Whisky Association’s ‘Made to Be Measured’ campaign, is very welcome.  “This is just one of the key areas of partnership that the Scottish Government and whisky industry can work together on – and I look forward to furthering our productive partnership on shared priorities such as the transition to net-zero, global trade and investment, and economic growth."

Measurement & evaluation

September 2023: The most recent evaluation showed that the campaign is helping to raise awareness of unit counts between different drinks: Awareness of the recommended weekly limit of 14 units grew from 17% to 27% in Scotland. 




Photo gallery