The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) has welcomed the European Union’s (EU) decision not to introduce new laws on alcohol advertising as part of a drive to cut under-age drinking.
Ministers from 51 European countries agreed at a World Health Organisation (WHO) conference last week that self-regulation is preferable to EU-wide laws against youth-targeted marketing by drinks companies. But EU Health Commissioner David Byrne warned that if the industry does not adhere to national codes, the European Commission may introduce controls on alcohol marketing.
Ministers agreed to “minimise pressures on young people to drink, especially in relation to alcohol promotions, free distribution, advertising, sponsorship and availability”, through health promotion and education and by enforcing existing laws.
Nick Phillips, director general of the IPA, says it is vital the EU does not make advertising the “whipping boy” for deeper European social problems.