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Under the Influence

11 December 2009

A total ban on alcohol advertising must be introduced by the Government to halt an epidemic of problem drinking say doctors again… 

Under the Influence is the latest report from the British Medical Association (BMA) that seeks to highlight the damaging effect of alcohol marketing on young people. It says its’ aim is: 

“to identify effective ways of protecting young people from the influence of alcohol promotion and marketing, thereby redressing the excessively pro-alcohol social norms to which they are exposed”. 

It claims that the £800m the industry spends each year on marketing alcohol serves to normalise alcohol as an essential part of every day life, adding that it is therefore no surprise that young people are drawn to alcohol. 

This isn’t the first time that the BMA has beaten this drum. To date, the Government have stood firm and supported the self regulation of advertising of alcohol that is administered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). In 2007, the Department of Health said: 

“We are also working closely with alcohol drinks industry and non-industry stakeholders on promoting more responsible drinking and preventing alcohol misuse.” 

Earlier this year they said: 

“it’s not always right to legislate,”. 

Do you trust in the ASA’s ability to effectively self regulate? Responsible advertising of alcohol encourages the audience to switch brands not drink harmfully. Industry partnerships with the Government are likely to be far more effective in the fight against the binge culture that we have in Britain with projects like the Campaign for Smarter Drinking. 

Agree or disagree?

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