Govt considers health warnings for alcohol ads

The Government is considering new curbs on alcohol advertising - including compulsory cigarette-style ’health warnings’ - in an attempt to tackle excessive drinking by young people.

The Government is considering new curbs on alcohol advertising -

including compulsory cigarette-style ’health warnings’ - in an attempt

to tackle excessive drinking by young people.



The Department of Health is consulting the drinks industry and pressure

groups about measures to combat under-age and teenage drinking. It will

set out a new strategy on alcohol abuse in the autumn.



Government sources revealed this week that the review will consider

proposals from the British Medical Association for health warnings to be

included on both labels and advertising. The association wants the

Advertising Standards Authority and Independent Television Commission to

take a tougher line on alcohol ads and is demanding more rigorous

controls over both cinema commercials and sports sponsorship.



’The BMA is particularly concerned about advertising which is targeted

at the young and which links alcohol with illicit drug use, by use of

symbols of youth culture,’ it said.



The organisation is also calling for the industry-funded Portman Group

to be replaced by an independent marketing regulator.



In order to give extra emphasis to its crackdown, the Government will

not include its plans in a public health White Paper to be published

this summer. Sources said that discussions were at an early stage.



Ministers are expected to demand tougher controls over ads aimed at

teenagers but may stop short of endorsing all the BMA’s demands, for

fear of being portrayed as ’anti-drinking’.



One ministerial source told Campaign: ’There is a difference between

tobacco and alcohol. If you use tobacco in accordance with the

manufacturer’s instructions, it will kill you. We want to focus on

alcohol abuse, not alcohol use.’



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