BMA Scotland throws weight behind alcohol sponsorship ban

The British Medical Association (BMA) Scotland has added its voice to calls for an end to alcohol companies sponsoring sports and entertainment events, saying it gives brands “innocence by association”. It also wants primary school children to be taught the dangers of alcohol before they are “drawn in” by industry advertising.

Dr Peter Terry, chairman of the BMA Scotland, is making the plea as part of a five-point plan announced this week to break the cycle of drink-related illness and death in the region.

The association believes that although sponsoring entertainment and sporting events and teams has become an “important advertising mechanism” for the alcohol industry, the “exposure of children to alcohol’s linkage gives alcohol innocence by association”.

BMA Scotland also wants to see bulk discounting of alcohol stopped, prices increased and the drink-driving limit reduced from 80mg to 50mg.

Terry says: “Increasing price is one part of a strategy that can deter children from purchasing alcohol. The BMA would also like to see more done in primary schools to educate children about the dangers of drink before they are drawn in by industry advertising.”

It follows similar calls in February from Professor Ian Gilmore, the new president of the Royal College of Physicians, who wants a total ban on alcohol advertising, including sponsorship, as revealed on www.marketingweek.co.uk.

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