Alcohol manufacturers are plotting to create a “war council”, in concert with retailers and trade bodies, as the industry steps up its fight against Government plans for a 9pm watershed for alcohol ads.
A meeting is to be held next Wednesday, comprising alcohol producers, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) among others.
They are expected to draw up plans to convince the Government that alcohol-related problems cannot be cured just by restricting alcohol advertising will be drawn up.
One industry insider says: “Following the change at Number 10, the threat of the watershed ban is very real and now is the time to do something about it.”
Another source adds that controls on alcohol advertising could also be extended to websites, cinemas and posters under radical plans being driven by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his secretary of state, Ed Balls – who heads the Department for Children, Schools and Families.
A BRC spokesman has confirmed that “the issue of the watershed ban is quite likely to come up” at the meeting. The organisation is currently consulting with its members on the issue.
In October 2005, CAP and BCAP introduced new and stricter restrictions on alcohol advertising in response to the Government’s Alcohol Harm Reduction (AHR) Strategy. The revision was part of a strategy that was intended to promote a culture of sensible drinking.