British advertisers slam calls to ban alcohol commercials

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British advertisers representative ISBA has slammed proposals made by the Alcohol Health Alliance to ban all advertising and sponsorship by alcohol brands as “wholly ineffective” and “contrary to a free society.”


The Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA), which represents more than 70 health organisations and universities, made the call today amongst a raft of proposals aimed at curbing excessive drinking.


The proposals calls in the Health First paper, published by the University of Stirling, include:

  • A minimum price of at least 50p per unit
  • At least one third of every alcohol product label should be given over to an evidence-based health warning specified by an independent regulator
  • All alcohol advertising and sponsorship should be prohibited. In the short term, alcohol advertising should only be permitted in newspapers and other adult press. Its content should be limited to factual information about brand, provenance and product strength.


“While we welcome sensible discussion on the serious issue of tackling binge drink culture, slapping a ban on alcohol ads is a lazy and naive reaction that will sadly not stop alcohol abuse, nor prevent underage drinking,” said Ian Twinn, ISBA’s director of public affairs.


“This latest pressure-group clarion call is, at best, misguided - especially when alcohol consumption amongst the young has actually halved since the start of the century. The AHA’s proposals should play no part in a free society.”


ISBA also drew attention to the CAP and BCAP rules which have already banned alcohol advertising when a high proportion of children are likely to be tuning in.


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