Joint statement

‘No evidence’ of alcohol ad ban reducing harm

Sports sponsorship would be hit by a ban

A number of advertising bodies have issued a rare joint statement to oppose the Scottish Government’s proposal to bad the promotion of alcohol.

Ahead of today’s deadline on consultations, the group representing the advertising, marketing, merchandising and media sectors, say there is “no evidence” that a ban of this nature will reduce harm from alcohol.

The Government wants to prohibit the promotion of alcohol which may see the end of sponsorship and the display alcohol in shops. Retailers say it would cost them up to £96m alone just to refit their stores.

The Advertising Association, ISBA and the IPA, which represent their members in Scotland, say they have taken the “unprecedented step” of issuing a joint public statement, alongside the Marketing Society Scotland, the British Promotional Merchandise Association, the Cinema Advertising Association and the UK Cinema Association, the Scottish Newspaper Society, and Outsmart.

“We stand together and publicly reject the Scottish Government’s proposals to introduce swingeing alcohol advertising and marketing bans,” says the statement.

“Whilst we understand the Government’s desire to reduce alcohol consumption harms in Scotland, there is no evidence that advertising bans will achieve that aim. The proposals set out by the Scottish Government will fail to address the problem.

“Such measures will be harmful to the Scottish economy – including local communities – to Scotland’s advertising and creative industries, and to the Scottish media including publishers, broadcasters and cinemas, as well as the outdoor advertising sector. At the end of the day, we are talking about an impact on Scottish businesses, Scottish jobs and Scottish communities for no discernible benefit.

“We call for a fundamental re-think of the proposals with a focus on targeted and practical policies that will facilitate behaviour change without damaging the Scottish economy and the advertising and creative industries that are important to the entrepreneurial Scotland that the Scottish Government wants to see.”

SNP leadership candidate Kate Forbes has said that there should be no ban on alcohol advertising and would not go ahead with it if she became First Minister.

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