Alcohol ad ban will hurt business, says ABFI

Patricia Callan, ABFI director
Patricia Callan, Drinks Ireland director, says the new international standards are a targeted response to the fact that consumers are increasingly buying alcohol online

The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill contains a series of punitive and preventative measures that would make Ireland one of the most restrictive countries in the world to sell alcohol, says the ABFI.



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22 September 2017

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With the Alcohol Bill raising its head once again this week, the ABFI has taken aim at the controversial legislation, stating yet again that there is little to no evidence that the measures will have the effect they set out to achieve.

Ireland’s alcohol consumption has fallen by 25% since 2005, the association says, citing the World Health Organisation. Meanwhile, the industry already operates under strict ASAI codes which ensure that advertising is responsible, tasteful, advocates moderate consumption and is not directed at children.

This code enjoys a high compliance rate, the ABFI says, and is supported by all television channels.

“Although the principles behind the Alcohol Bill are well intentioned, the impact of the advertising restrictions will have devastating consequences for the drinks industry in Ireland,” says Patricia Callan, ABFI director. “The bill will make it extremely difficult for all drinks companies to advertise their products, and is particularly harmful for small producers and new entrants who have invested heavily in breweries and distilleries across Ireland, who have less brand awareness.

“This bill will make it extremely difficult to establish new products in Ireland and ultimately harms the drinks industries innovation, export and growth potential,” Callan adds.

“The bill will also see the much-loved Guinness Christmas ad ‘banned’,” Callan says, “which for many is a sentimental feature of the festive season. ABFI proposes a much more workable solution to place the alcohol advertising codes on a statutory footing, with significant penalties for breaches. This could be implemented within a much shorter timeframe with a regulatory authority already in place.”



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