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Responsible drinks advertising helps cut underage drinking

Published:  23 July, 2008

The UK drinks industry has received a much needed boost today with the release of new figures that suggest more responsible drinks advertising is having an impact on drinking levels, and the attitudes of young drinkers towards alcohol.

Research from the broadcasting regulator, Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Authority, reveals that:

* the proportion of 11-13 year olds who have never drunk alcohol has increased from 31% in 2005 to 46% in 2007

* children and young people are being exposed to significantly less alcohol advertising. Between 2002-2006 there has been a decline of 31.1% and 39.0% in 16-24 and 10-15 year olds advertising impacts respectively

* young people are less likely to say that alcohol advertising is aimed at them

The findings have been welcomed by Jeremy Beadles, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

He said: "Ofcom's report is testimony to the work that the alcohol industry is doing to ensure that its products are promoted responsibly. Together, we have reduced the amount of advertising that young people view and statistics show that fewer young people are consuming alcohol. This is a substantial achievement in our joint effort to reduce alcohol misuse in Britain."

The WSTA said the report is further evidence that the partnership between the alcohol industry and government has been successful in reducing the amount of underage drinking.

Be it through the Drinkaware initiative or the Challenge 21 campaign, fewer young people are able to purchase alcohol and more know of the dangers of drink.

The full report is available from the ASA website,