Govt body renews call for alcohol ad curbs

The advertising industry is fighting demands for tough curbs on television, cinema and online ads for alcohol to combat binge-drinking by young people.

The Government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs called for a "much stricter code", including a ban on TV ads, ads in cinemas showing films to under-18s and on sponsorship by drinks companies of music or sports events watched by young people.

But the Advertising Association has accused the council of completely ignoring the new curbs on alcohol ads that took effect last October.

Andrew Brown, the AA's director-general, said he did not minimise the social problem but that it was "extremely disappointing" the council had not contacted the industry. "It seems there is no acknowledgement at all of the work being done by the advertising and drinks industries, which have taken the issue of binge-drinking on board."

The council accused the drinks industry of spending £200 million a year on "promoting a very misleading picture of the realities of alcohol consumption".

But it admitted that the evidence about whether such campaigns encouraged drinking by young people was "equivocal".