MPs support warnings on alcohol ads proposal

Alcohol advertisers could be forced to include health warnings in all ad campaigns, as the Government steps up its efforts to get tough in binge and underage drinking.

The proposal would force advertisers to include a short public health message as an “end frame” after TV and cinema ads.

The move is one of the options under consideration by the Department of Health as part of the recently launched “Safe, Sensible, Social” consultation. The DoH is also considering making it mandatory for all printed ads to be accompanied with a public health warning. At present, some alcohol manufacturers do this on a voluntary basis.

David Poley, Portman Group chief executive, says: “We doubt end frames would be effective in delivering long-term change. This unsubtle approach would not appeal to advertisers or viewers. Responsible drinking ads are more likely to influence attitudes and behaviour.”

In a separate move, the DoH will launch a direct marketing campaign to build on its Know Your Limits work in August. It will raise awareness of the dangers of harmful drinking and encourage people who are concerned about their consumption to make use of the support that is available.

The Know Your Limits campaign, created by Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest, was launched in May this year to raise the public’s knowledge of the health risks associated with exceeding the limits set out in the Government guidelines.

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