Labour plans major curb on alcohol ads

The Government is to crack down on alcohol advertising in forthcoming public education campaigns combating binge and underage drinking.

The campaigns mark the first time that the Government has attempted to counter binge drinking through advertising. It will put particular pressure on the advertising of alcopops, such as Diageo’s Bacardi Breezer, which targets 18- to 25-year-olds.

The proposals will be unveiled later this summer, and form part of the Government’s National Health Strategy, which is being led by the Cabinet Office’s strategy unit.

According to a recent Datamonitor study, sales of alcopops in Europe have increased by 21 per cent each year since 1997. This sales hike is attributed to innovative marketing and advertising. In the UK alone, people are spending &£5m a day on alcopops – a 50 per cent rise in 12 months.

A Department of Health schools survey last year showed that binge drinking among 11- to 15-year-olds has doubled in ten years. This is thought to be partly due to the marketing of alcopop-type drinks.

In the past, government has talked about drink-driving through several high-profile campaigns, such as “Dave” – a TV campaign featuring a man disabled after a drink-drive car accident. The ad was created by D’Arcy.

Until 1999, the average budget for anti-drink-driving campaigns had been between &£1.5m and &£2m, but this was increased to more than &£2.3m to press home to the public the risk seasonal revellers take when they drink and drive.

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