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Alcohol

Under-18s want more protection from alcohol marketing

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By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

October 20, 2011 | 2 min read

A survey by Alcohol Concern has found that under-18s want regulation to provide more protection against alcohol marketing.

The survey of over 2,300 young people found that 58% want alcohol advertising on television limited to after 9pm, while 60% want alcohol advertising in the cinema restricted to 18-certificate films only.

The report found that under-18s do not recognise ‘below the line’ alcohol marketing strategies, with 50% not recognising alcohol sponsorship of football team shirts as marketing; 52% not recognising sponsored events such as festivals as marketing, and 51% not recognising official alcohol pages on social networking sites, such as Facebook, as marketing.

It report argues that if the government is serious about tackling the culture of heavy drinking and alcohol harm amongst young people, then it needs to reduce their ‘cumulative exposure’ to the ‘positive drinking messages’.

Don Shenker, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, said: "If one of the aims of alcohol marketing regulations is to protect children and young people from exposure to advertising then government needs to ask itself whether the current framework is fit for purpose. Clearly young people don’t believe it is, and their preference for stronger protection deserve to be heard. There are simple changes the government could make to better protect children, hopefully they will listen to their views."

Alcohol Concern recommended in the report that Government reviews whether the existing regulatory framework adequately protects children and young people from cumulative exposure to alcohol marketing; introduces a regulatory framework that better protects children and young people from alcohol marketing; and systematically feed children and young people’s views into decision making for setting alcohol marketing regulations.

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