NEWS10 March 2023

Ad industry criticises possible Scottish alcohol advert ban

Media News UK

UK – Banning alcohol advertising and marketing in Scotland would be “harmful” to the economy and advertising industry in the country without significant reductions in alcohol consumption in the country, according to a joint letter from advertising bodies and media organisations.

Beer pumps at a pub

The letter states that a potential ban – which is under consideration by the Scottish government – would not be as effective as a “fundamental re-think” on alcohol policy with a focus on ideas that could help change behaviour without damaging the economy and creative and advertising industries.

Signatories include the Advertising Association, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, the ISBA, the Marketing Society Scotland, the British Promotional Merchandise Association, the Cinema Advertising Association and the UK Cinema Association, the Scottish Newspaper Society and Outsmart.

The letter follows the recent end of a government consultation on how to reduce alcohol-related harm in Scotland.

One of the options proposed is a ban to all alcohol advertising in Scotland, but the Scottish government is yet to take a decision on which policy to adopt.

The letter said: “While 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.”