Researchers from the Federal University of São Paulo in Brazil have recently published an article which shows that industry self-regulation does not work. The researchers have analyzed all the scientific research that was published on this subject between 1991 and 2010, they have published their findings in the Brazilian Journal for Psychiatry (Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria). 

The study was conducted by Alan Vendrame and Ilana Pinsky, both employed at the Department of Psychiatry of the Federal University of São Paulo. The authors conclude that as a result of the inefficacy of industry self-regulation (e.g. controlled by the advertising community itself) alcohol advertisements are still aimed at children and adolescents. Also self-regulation offers little incentives to avoid messages that are in breech of the codes of self-regulation and may lead to abusive and irresponsible consumption of alcohol. Moreover, the authors conclude that the self-regulating system is failing all over the world, regardless of cultural, social or economic characteristics.

The findings of this study offer an empiric base for stronger public policy and restricting and regulating the placement and content of alcohol advertisements. Furthermore the researchers call for an independent body for the monitoring of advertisements. This organization should have no connections to the industry. According to the article, studies from different countries show that when advertisements were analyzed by outside groups, with no relation of interest with the products or advertisements, a considerable number of code violations of self-regulation have been revealed.

Source:  Alcohol Reports 05/19/11

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