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AHA calls for ban on alcohol advertising

The Alcohol Health Alliance is calling on the UK government to introduce restrictions for alcohol marketing after a new poll found that the majority of Brits would support measures to limit exposure of booze ads to young people.

A new poll found that many Brits would like to see limits on alcohol ads to young people

A new poll from YouGov, which surveyed 12,247 adults in Great Britain, found that 77% said they would support measures to limit the exposure of children and young people to alcohol advertising.

Furthermore, 70% of respondents would support a ban on alcohol adverts from being shown on TV before 9pm, and 72% would back ads being shown only in cinema screenings with an 18 age certificate.

Just over half (57%) of consumers would favour a ban on booze advertising in outdoor and public spaces such as streets, parks and public transport.

In June 2021, the government said it planned to stop junk food advertising online and before 9pm on television from 2023.

The Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA) is calling on the UK government to include alcoholic drinks in these plans as it could “fill the void that is left behind” from junk food ads.

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the AHA UK, said: “The public want to see more done to limit young people’s exposure to alcohol advertising. The government must now introduce comprehensive marketing restrictions in both the real world and digital spaces to ensure that children are protected from alcohol advertising and its harm.”

However, Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, noted that rates of drinking among young people are at “record lows”.

“If the aim of alcohol advertising was to get young people to drink, the booze companies would be wasting millions of pounds,” he said.

“The fact of the matter is that advertising is irrelevant except as a way to promote individual brands.

“Boris Johnson’s food advertising ban will not work and nor would further restrictions on alcohol advertising. Nanny statists need to grow up and stop trying to ban the marketing of anything they don’t like.”

In September last year, UK watchdog the Portman Group slammed proposed measures from the AHA to combat alcohol misuse arguing they would ‘disproportionately penalise’ those who drink responsibly.

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