Drink brands 'must act' to avoid ad clampdown

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Brands are under pressure to combat binge-drinking
Brands are under pressure to combat binge-drinking

LONDON - Drinks brands have been warned to get their house in order or face a blanket ban on ads, following calls from influential MPs to overhaul the way alcohol is promoted in the UK.

Speaking exclusively to Marketing, Liberal Democrat MP Sandra Gidley, who helped collate the Health Select Committee's report on alcohol policy, warned that the £800m-a-year drinks marketing industry could be hit hard unless brands act to combat binge-drinking.

The government is not yet considering a total ban on alcohol advertising, but the report recommends a series of strictures, including a 9pm watershed for TV ads and mandatory on-pack health warnings.

The report claims self-regulation is failing, highlighting digital advertising and sponsorship as problem areas.
However, Gidley warned that policy-makers may ban all alcohol ads to offset criticism from health campaigners.
Industry body the Portman Group is also concerned.

‘Regulators and government must continue to take an evidence-based approach,' said its chief executive, David Poley. ‘Responsible advertising has, at most, a marginal impact on consumption and harm.'


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