Alcohol adverts encourage drinking from an early age, says Alcohol Health Alliance

Alcohol adverts encourage drinking from an early age, says Alcohol Health Alliance

The Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA) is urging the government to bring in “comprehensive marketing restrictions” both on and offline, to protect children and young people from alcohol advertising campaigns. 

This comes after a recent survey suggested that more than three-quarters of adults would also support such controls.

Earlier this year, a poll of more than 12,000 people across Great Britain revealed that 77% of respondents would support tighter controls to limit the exposure of children and young people to alcohol marketing.

The survey found that seven in 10 respondents would support stopping alcohol adverts being shown on television before the 9pm watershed, while 72% would agree with only allowing alcohol advertising in cinemas for films with an 18 certificate.

Just over half of those surveyed also said they would support not allowing alcohol advertising in public spaces including streets, parks, and public transport.

The government has already announced heavier online restrictions and a 9pm television watershed for junk food adverts. However, the Alcohol Health Alliance is calling for the new measures to also include alcohol advertising.

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chairman of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, said: “We are constantly bombarded with alcohol advertising, both online and in the real world, and so are our children. Studies show that the more young people are exposed to alcohol marketing, the more likely they are to start drinking at an earlier age.”

He added: “The government has taken a great step forward for public health by stopping junk food advertising online and introducing other limits to its promotion. If alcohol is not included in those plans, we risk alcohol advertising filling the void that is left behind.”

A government spokesperson said: “The government is committed to ensuring children and young people are protected from inappropriate content and we continue to work with the industry to address concerns over any irresponsible promotions, advertising and marketing relating to alcohol.”

“The new Office for Health Promotion will drive our efforts to improve treatment and provide support on alcohol consumption, helping to ensure there are treatment services at a local and national level.”

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