Studies conducted in the UK and the United States are suggesting that, as a public health issue, governments need to take the reins and regulate alcohol advertisements out of the view of young people, especially during sporting events.
The studies claim there is a link between marketing and underage drinking and that advertising alcohol during sporting events is particularly harmful.
“In the long run, all [alcohol] advertising and sponsorship should be prohibited. In the short term, alcohol advertising should only be permitted in newspapers and other adult press, and the content of these adverts should be limited to factual information about brand, provenance, and product strength,” Chair of Alcohol Health Alliance UK Sir Ian Gilmore told VICE.
Prof. Thomas Babor at the UConn School of Medicine echoed these thoughts.
“Governments are responsible for the health of their citizens. No other legal product with such potential for harm is as widely promoted and advertised in the world as alcohol,” he said.
Also giving comment to VICE, a spokesperson for the Portman Group, a group that “represents UK drinks producers and helps regulate marketing practices,” challenged the studies by saying “underage drinking has fallen to the lowest levels ever recorded” in the UK.
“In the UK, marketing companies abide by strict codes of practice that prohibit marketing alcohol to children. Regardless of the rise in online marketing channels, official UK Government statistics show that underage drinking has fallen to the lowest levels ever recorded,” the spokesperson said. “Tackling underage drinking requires a combination of life skills education, strict enforcement on underage sales, and robust ID schemes—all of which are supported by drinks companies.”
Regrettably, and maybe this is the point, this would mean the end of memorable commercials we’ve seen over the years.
Say goodbye to majestic Clydesdales running someplace with a purpose.
Say goodbye to the velvety tones of Sam Elliot.
Say goodbye to debatably delightful “Up for Whatever” pitches.
Say goodbye to “Dear Brother.”
Hey there, Mila Kunis.
Looks like you might need to find a new endorsement deal.