In the drab wake of the party season comes heartwarming news that Britain's advertising industry led a nation united in its enthusiastic support of Bacchus at Yuletide.

So reports the latest study from the Centre for Economics and Business Research. More usually concerned with the Consumer Price Index, the CEBR has created a seasonal alternative - the Christmas Party Index - at the van of which are the selfless legions of advertising executives sworn to Booze for Britain.

CEBR data reveals that the UK advertising industry spends an average of £248 on alcoholic beverages per employee every year - outstripping all other sectors.

Says the CEBR with the detached professional insight for which it is famed: "We presume that much of their consumption of alcohol reflects corporate and staff entertaining - and maybe even the Christmas party."

Albion's dedicated adfolk lead the services sector by an unassailable margin, trade bodies coming a poor second with a rot-gut rating of £147 per employee, followed by the insurance and pension funds sector (£75), and banking (£69).

At the opposite end of the scale languishes the public service sector, with civil servants having a meagre £6 a year spent on slaking their thirsts, while the Scrooges who run the health and veterinary services spend just £3 per employee.

And as if to belie prime minister Blair's much vaunted priority of 'Education, Education and Education', the miserable sum grudgingly spent on purchasing hooch for the nation's educators was just £2 per employee.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff