Lobby seeks tough alcohol ad controls

Campaigners have demanded tougher controls over drinks advertising to prevent an increase in binge-drinking.

As a change in licensing laws to allow pubs to open 24 hours a day took effect this Thursday, Alcohol Concern called for a more responsible approach to TV ads and promotions and a co-ordinated industry "sensible drinking" message. The proposals came in a 12-point plan submitted to drinks companies.

The group wants pre-vetting of all alcohol ads and the advertising code to be policed by an independent body led by non-industry figures.

Srabi Sen, the chief executive of Alcohol Concern, said: "We are putting forward a practical set of steps that we believe will help turn around our drinking culture, and we are challenging the industry to put them into practice."

But the Beer and Pub Association sought to head off criticism by issuing a blueprint on the "social-responsibility standards" being met by the drinks industry, which was backed by the Advertising Association.