Advertisers oppose drinks ad code

The Advertising Association has criticised plans by the European Union (EU) to draw up a voluntary code of practice for the drinks industry to curb advertising aimed at under-18s.

The European Commission is urging EU governments to work with the drinks industry to draw up codes of conduct to ensure man ufacturers do not target young peo ple, after a World Health Organisation (WHO) report revealed high rates of under-age drinking in member states.

The codes, if agreed by the member states, would not be legally binding but would put moral pressure on the industry.

But the Advertising Association’s deputy director-general, Lionel Stanbrook, says regulations already ensure drinks advertising does not target people who are under-age.

“I do not think the industry advertises to under-18s in the UK at the moment,” says Stanbrook.

“Sometimes, perhaps, it can be difficult to differentiate between target groups but that is not something you can legislate against.”

Both the Independent Television Commission’s and the Advertising Standards Authority’s codes prohibit drinks brands from targeting under-18s in their advertising.

A spokesman for the Portman Group, which has been set up by the drinks companies to promote sensible drinking and to tackle misuse of alcohol, says: “The present system of self-regulation is working very well.”

According to the WHO, teen agers in Wales top the European league for alcohol consumption -Âwith half of Welsh 15-year-old boys admitting to “regular beer consumption” – closely followed by England, Denmark and Greece.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here