ISBA slams Ofcom code proposal for alcohol ads

The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) has accused Ofcom of being “over-prescriptive and heavy-handed” in its proposal to amend the alcohol advertising code.

In its submission to Ofcom’s proposal for new codes for broadcast television advertising, ISBA has urged the broadcast regulator to reconsider because the new regulatory proposals could seriously restrict drinks companies’ advertising. According to ISBA, the draft proposal could result in the majority of current campaigns being taken off air.

It adds that the potential for effective advertising in the sector will be so limited that investment will be diverted into other media, denying TV broadcasters income.

ISBA director of public affairs Ian Twinn says: “The code would create uncertainty for broadcasters, advertisers, agencies and other stakeholders. Without doubt, the confusion generated would discourage alcohol manufacturers from investing in TV advertising, and therefore deny Broadcasters valuable funding as they switched to alternative media. For these reasons we are urging Ofcom to reconsider its approach.”

Ofcom will unveil its report on the amended advertising plans later this year. The new regulation is expected to clamp down on any alcohol ads in the context of alcohol misuse if it is seen to appeal to the youth market or associate itself with sexual activity, irresponsible social behaviour and immoderate or excessive consumption.

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