The ISBA has hit out at campaign group Alcohol Concern after its latest report – Stick to the Facts – called for a ban on alcohol advertising at music and sporting events to protect young people from such promotional messages.
Ian Twinn, ISBA’s director of public affairs, labelled the report “a seriously flawed work of fiction”.
Twinn commented: “It is another attempt by an anti-alcohol lobbying group to impose further restrictions on an industry that is already subject to strict self-regulatory rules and is an industry with an extremely high rate of compliance.”
Alcohol Concern has claimed that young people are facing “excessive” exposure to alcohol brands claiming that current regulations for alcohol advertising are not effective.
In response to these claims Twinn said: “The truth is that self-regulation is working; the UK features some of the toughest advertising rules in Europe with rules which already ban alcohol adverts during programmes where there is a likelihood of a high proportion of children tuning in.”
Recent Department of Health figures show that fewer young people are drinking, leading Twinn to question the Alcohol Concern to “explain how underage drinking is declining in this country, where we have alcohol advertising, yet in France, where it has been banned, it is going up?"
He concluded that the investment made by alcohol brands is not evidence of their influence over children, adding: “Why would advertisers want to waste money marketing to a demographic which can’t legally buy their product. What the advertisers are doing is trying to influence adults, not young people, to drink their brand, and they do this sensibly and responsibly.”