Why banning alcohol advertising for young people is the right move – Irish Times

A new opinion poll, commissioned by Alcohol Health Alliance Ireland from polling company Ireland Thinks, demonstrates that 82 per cent of the public support the view that alcohol marketing which appeals to young people should be prohibited.

This overwhelming support was consistently held across individuals of all party preferences. Our poll findings highlight yet again that public opinion is ahead of sectoral interests and their lobbyists.

Over recent days, we have witnessed the power of the drinks industry as they swamped the pages of our national and regional media with spurious claims of a “threat” to local community arts and cultural events, and “decimated” advertising revenue to the media industry. This is a tactic to combat proposed, government-led, public health legislation to tackle the wide-ranging harm caused by alcohol in Ireland.

The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, contains a range of measures designed to work together to reduce alcohol consumption in Ireland so lessening alcohol-related harms. Implemented together, they will provide a reasonable, pragmatic means to achieving the ambition of a progressive public health policy.

For the record, there are no provisions within the Public Health Alcohol Bill to prohibit alcohol products’ sponsorship of arts or cultural events, or nor will there be a ban on alcohol advertising.

Alcohol sponsorship offers significant opportunities for distinct marketing and competitive advantage. It increases brand awareness, helps generate customer preference and crucially fosters brand loyalty by association. In 2017, it is anticipated that the Irish advertising market will likely exceed €1.1 billion while the sponsorship market will be worth approximately €173 million. The drinks industry will spend close on €50 million on direct advertising.

Only a minute amount of this spending will likely be affected by the provisions of the Bill, as drinks companies will be allowed to continue to advertise their brands, including

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