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New alcohol advertising guidelines for UK

Strengthened guidance for alcohol advertising in the UK has recently been issued by a broadcast monitoring body.

BCAP has recently published a new set of alcohol advertising guidelines for UK broadcasters

Following Ofcom’s research into children’s exposure to alcohol advertising on television in May, the Broadcast Committee for Advertising Practice (BCAP) has published a set of guidelines to help broadcasters identify which programmes should exclude alcohol commercials.

In the same month, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) also launched an investigation to establish whether there had been any breaches of schedule rule, discovering nine in total.

The new guidance issued by BCAP develops on the previous version and now includes: specific advice on technical issues, a clearer definition of the scope and purpose of the guidance, a outline of what the ASA expects when enforcing the scheduling rules, and a new model for scheduling decision-making.

Ofcom, the ASA and BCAP have a shared objective to ensure alcohol advertising is appropriately targeted to minimise exposure to children.

Following the publication of the new guidelines, the ASA will conduct a monitoring exercise in 2014, while BCAP will review the outcome of this exercise and Ofcom will conduct further research “once the impact of the new guidance has become clear”.

UK advertising rules currently state that alcohol is “prohibited from being advertised in or adjacent to programmes commissioned for, principally directed at or likely to appeal particularly to audiences below the age of 18”.

In November last year, a team of US researchers suggested that the country’s alcohol advertising regulations are in need of redevelopment, claiming current guidelines are “ambiguous”.

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