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Irish Government asked to ban alcohol brands from sponsoring sporting events

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By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

February 8, 2012 | 2 min read

The National Substance Misuse Strategy Steering Group has released a report which suggests that the Irish Government should prohibit the sponsorship of any sporting event where 25% or more of the audience is likely to be comprised of under-18s, or where under-18s are taking part.

It was recommended that drinks industry sponsorship of sport and other large public events in the Republic of Ireland should be phased out through legislation by 2016.

The report states that Irish 16–21 year olds list alcohol advertisements as five of their top ten favourite advertisements, and that four in ten 16–21 year olds have an alcohol branded item of clothing, with 26% owning a rugby/football jersey that has an alcohol brand logo.

Recommendations also put forward in the report include a 9.00 p.m. watershed for alcohol advertising on television and radio; prohibition of all outdoor advertising of alcohol; and all alcohol advertising in the print media to be subject to stringent codes.

Dr Tony Holohan, Steering Group chairman, said: “Ireland has had a long and sometimes difficult association with alcohol. As a society we must understand, accept and deal with the negative consequences that arise from our use and misuse of alcohol.

“It is for this reason that I present these recommendations as a whole, very much in the hope that they will be adopted as Government policy. While in many areas individual measures might have been recommended that would go further, I regard the overall set of recommendations as reasonable and pragmatic, and I hope that they will help to significantly and positively alter Ireland’s relationship with alcohol.

“It is my strong belief that these recommendations, taken together, provide a practical, pragmatic means to achieve this. I am, nevertheless, very conscious that to some the recommendations will be far-reaching and radical, whereas to others they will be seen not to have gone far enough.”

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