Most Irish consumers not in favour of Alcohol Bill: New research

Patricia Callan of the ABFI has taken aim at the controversial Alcohol Bill
Patricia Callan of the ABFI

62% of those surveyed are against alcohol advertising restrictions and only 27% believe measures in bill will be effective, according to new survey commissioned by ABFI

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20 October 2017 | 0

A majority of Irish consumers do not think the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill should be introduced in its current form, according to a poll from Independent Research Agency, iReach. The poll, commissioned by the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI), found that Irish consumers are not in favour of a number of measures proposed in the Bill, including advertising restrictions.

The Alcohol Bill will make Ireland one of the most restrictive countries in the world for marketing alcohol products.  It will ban images of people, animals, scenic shots of Ireland and scenes in pubs from appearing in alcohol advertisements. The iReach poll found that the majority of people (62%) are opposed to these restrictions, with only 17% in favour of the measures. Furthermore, 72% of respondents said they don’t think these image-banning measures will reduce alcohol misuse, with just 12% believing they will work.

The Alcohol Bill also allows for Regulations to be brought in to stop establishments from supplying free alcohol. The poll found that 57% of people are against the banning of complimentary drinks in certain spaces, such as in hairdressers or supermarkets. Additionally, 71% say that banning complimentary drinks in these establishments won’t reduce alcohol misuse.

As part of this survey, consumers were also asked if they believe the government’s proposed measures – structural separation, advertising restrictions and health warnings on alcohol labels – are going too far, or are the best way to target alcohol misuse. The poll found that 47% believe the Government’s proposed measures are too strict, with just 27% saying they are the right thing to do.

This study was conducted as part of the iReach Consumer Omnibus Survey, with a sample size of over 1,000 interviews.

“There is a misconception that the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill has broad-sweeping public support,” said Patricia Callan, director of ABFI. “This research clearly shows that Irish consumers are against certain measures proposed in the Bill.

“While the drinks industry supports the objectives of the Bill – to tackle harmful and underage drinking in Ireland – we are concerned that certain proposals in the Bill are poorly targeted and are not based on evidence,” she added. “This means that they are unlikely to actually reduce alcohol misuse…It’s vital that the Government does not damage a thriving Irish industry when introducing legislation to achieve public health objectives.”

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