Tighten TV Alcohol Ad Rules, Says UK Watchdog

21 July 2004

In a new consultation paper, broadcast media regulator Ofcom suggests rules governing TV advertising of alcohol should be tightened to minimise problems such as binge-drinking and alcohol-induced antisocial behaviour.

Current guidelines set by the now defunct Independent Television Commission are inadequate according to Ofcom, which cites the findings of a recent report: "A good deal of television advertising -- of alcopops in particular -- is closely aligned to youth culture and of strong interest to underage drinkers."

The paper also suggests that alcohol ads portraying older drinkers are a turn-off for the underaged. Ofcom is keen to see a more mature approach to alcohol advertising in the hope that this will reduce the appeal of the demon drink to children and young teenagers. Such an approach would fit well with government plans to reduce harm caused by alcohol misuse.

Proposed changes to current rules also include a tightening of restrictions on ads linking alcohol consumption with sexual allure; also the promotion of binge drinking.

Ofcom hopes to impose changes by November this year following a consultation period which ends 24 September.

Data sourced from: mad.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff