Industry fights back against alcopop ban

By EMMA HALL, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 23 May 1997 12:00AM

Drinks manufacturers and the advertising industry were mustering forces to fend off a Government attack against the advertising of alcopops this week.

Drinks manufacturers and the advertising industry were mustering

forces to fend off a Government attack against the advertising of

alcopops this week.



The issue moved centre stage after the new licensing minister, George

Howarth, admitted that he was sceptical about drinks manufacturers’

compliance with their voluntary codes and refused to rule out a total

ban on advertising.



His views echo those of the Health Education Authority, which is worried

that alcopops are being marketed to underage drinkers.



The Advertising Standards Authority code prevents alcohol ads appearing

in any publication where more than 25 per cent of the audience is under

18, and agencies must not cast people who are under 25, or look under

25, in ads for alcohol clients.



Caroline Crawford, the director-general of external affairs at the ASA,

claimed: ’Criticism of the ads is inappropriate because the problem lies

more with the packaging, PR, and editorial coverage of alcoholic

carbonates. There are already strict rules governing the advertising of

alcoholic drinks.’



David Poley, the head of policy at the Portman Group, the drinks

industry-funded marketing watchdog, added: ’Advertising is a soft

target, and the Government needs to look at wider issues such as

enforcement of the laws surrounding the sales of alcoholic drinks. The

problems of underage drinking won’t go away if alcopops do.’



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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