SLTA opposes blanket ban on alcohol advertising

SLTA opposes blanket ban on alcohol advertising as alcohol hits the headlines again. Curbs on the marketing of alcoholic drinks to protect children are included in the Scottish Government’s new plans to tackle alcohol harm.

The Scottish Government’s ‘Alcohol Framework 2018: Preventing Harm’ includes proposals to consult on alcohol marketing such as in public spaces and online. Under the framework, the UK Government will be pressed to impose a 9pm watershed for alcohol advertising on TV, and restrictions on advertising in cinemas are also proposed.

Alcohol producers will be urged to put health information on labels, and the current minimum unit price (MUP) of 50p will be reviewed after May 1, 2020.

The SLTA’s managing director Colin Wilkinson said that while further restrictions on alcohol advertising were only a matter of time, the trade association is opposed to blanket alcohol advertising bans on the grounds that most producers say their advertising is aimed at encouraging existing customers to switch brands.

He said: “The SLTA supported minimum unit pricing and backs tougher restrictions on media price-based advertising, especially by supermarkets, which we will no doubt see an increase in as the festive season approaches.

“Such advertising does not influence customers to switch brands, it only encourages increases in volume sales.”

Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “Our new Alcohol Framework sets out our next steps on tackling alcohol-related harm.

“We need to keep challenging our relationship with alcohol to save lives. Behind each statistic is a person, a family, a community struggling with the impact of alcohol harms. These new measures build on the progress of our 2009 Framework which has made an impact by tackling higher-risk drinking, but we want to go further.

“Scotland’s action is bold and it is brave and, as demonstrated by our world-leading minimum unit pricing policy, we are leading the way in introducing innovative solutions to public health challenges.”

Alcohol misuse costs Scotland £3.6 billion each year – £900 for every adult – and on average, almost 700 Scots are hospitalised because of their drinking every week. Find out more: Alcohol Framework 2018: Preventing Harm

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