Dutch Secretary of Health Martin van Rijn will soon start discussions with the Ministry of Education about how young people between 12-18 years can be better protected from the influence of alcohol advertisements on TV. In this pursuit, the Secretary said he will look into various instruments, such as self-regulation, a media guide and adapting the current time ban. These plans became apparent today when Van Rijn answered questions from various MPs about the article 'Do time restrictions on alcohol advertising reduce youth exposure', co-written by EUCAM researcher Avalon de Bruijn.   The research by Ross, De Bruijn and Jernigan shows that the current time ban (no alcohol advertising may be broadcasted on TV and radio between 6 AM and 9 PM), initiated in 2009, instead of protecting youth against exposure to alcohol advertisements lead only to more exposure of teenagers. The answers from the Secretary of Health closely follow the publication of a press release by the Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy (STAP) criticizing alcohol industry interest group STIVA’s research on the same topic. STIVA issued research of the exposure of Dutch youth to alcohol marketing on TV, before and after the implementation of the time ban. This in turn, was a reaction to parliamentary questions based on the research by Ross, De Bruijn and Jernigan. STIVA’s research concluded that the amount of children between the ages of 6 to 11 that had seen alcohol advertisements on TV dropped 67% over the last ten years. While for children between the ages of 12 to 17 and adults this number had dropped 40%. In their press release the Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy calls these figures misleading. Firstly, it seems that STIVA has consciously chosen for a research period of ten years. Because when looking at the last year before initiation of the time ban, and the four years following the time ban it becomes apparent that children aged between 6 to 11 had seen 20% more alcohol advertisements on TV. In the age group between 12 and 17 years, the increase amounted to 38% and adults had seen 34% more alcohol advertisements on TV. Furthermore, the press release states that it’s unclear which research methods where used in the STIVA investigation. Source: STAP.nl 04/23/13
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