Calls for alcohol ad ban at sporting events

12 June, 2013

Alcohol Concern has called for a ban on all alcohol advertising at sport, cultural and music events.

The campaigning charity says the measure is necessary to “protect children and young people from excessive exposure to alcohol advertising”.

It has released a report in which it claims self-regulation of alcohol advertising isn’t working, claiming high levels of brand recognition among young people.

Other measures called for by Alcohol Concern include limiting ad content to messages and images to do with ingredients, origin, composition and means of production, effectively outlawing lifestyle images of drinking scenes.

Alcohol Concern chief executive Eric Appleby said: “Children and young people are seeing more alcohol advertising than in the past and are better able to recognise alcohol brands than those of cakes or ice cream.

“This has to be a wake-up call to the fact that the way we regulate alcohol advertising isn’t working.”

Alcohol Concern wants to see a model similar to the Loi Evin – which introduced a TV and cinema ad ban in France in 1991 – but “adapted to suit the UK’s social and cultural context”.

The impact of that legislation sees rugby union’s Heineken Cup known as the H Cup in that market.

Ian Twinn, director of public affairs at the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers, insisted that self-regulation by the advertising industry was working.

“The UK features some of the toughest advertising rules in Europe, with rules which already ban alcohol adverts during programmes where there is a likelihood of a high proportion of children tuning in.

“How does Alcohol Concern explain that under-age drinking is declining in this country where we have alcohol advertising, yet in France, where it has been banned, it is going up?”

A separate report produced by Woot Media said Smirnoff, Baileys and Jack Daniel’s are the favourite drinks brands of 16 to 34-year-olds. Smirnoff was “liked” by 47% of that age group to appear 46th on a list of the favourite 100 brands among what the company called Generation Y. Cadbury and Amazon were the most liked brands overall.

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