Brown moots tougher alcohol ad curbs

Gordon Brown has threatened to impose tougher rules on alcohol advertising to curb binge-drinking unless the drinks industry puts its own house in order.

He told industry leaders at a Downing Street seminar on Wednesday that the Government would act unless the existing code of practice is tightened. He also called on the industry to run more ad campaigns to promote sensible drinking and combat underage selling by retailers.

Although the meeting discussed the impact of advertising, the Prime Minister did not mention specific proposals such as the 9pm watershed for TV ads demanded by MPs and pressure groups.

It appears Brown would prefer action by the industry rather than legislation, but he did not rule out new laws. Brown said he wanted to "build upon the efforts to deal with some of the problems, particularly related to our target groups - young people and binge-drinkers - and whether we need to do more voluntarily or in a regulatory way".

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