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alcohol health alliance uk

Playing by the rules? As you may have spotted, our current advertising campaign is not being run on TV.

This was not our original intention, more of a plan B. However, on reflection, it actually serves to illustrate the frightening lack of control that exists over the alcohol industry and suggest that we need to exert more.

We had originally planned for our advert to be on TV – a tried and tested way of reaching the maximum amount of people. However, when we sent our advert to be approved by Clearcast, the TV advertising regulator deemed it to be in contravention of the rules because it aimed to lobby Government. In truth, the ad itself was not the issue. The issue arose because the advert encourages visitors to our website and part of our role is to seek policy change.

While I don’t object to the judgement in principle, I do question whether it is correct that we are prevented from running an advert aimed at improving public health, while the alcohol industry bypasses the regulations on a regular basis. The rules say that alcohol adverts should not appeal strongly to people under 18 or link drinking to social acceptance or success. Aren’t these central themes of alcohol adverts such as those shown by Carling, Carlsberg and WKD? Don’t we need to rethink the current rules to get a better balance?

Watch the ad here.

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