On-pitch advertising, the advertisement boards next to the playing field in various sports, will no longer contain alcohol advertising according to new plans by Health Minister Leo Varadkar. This measure is part of a detailed set of policy measures aiming to ‘de-glamourise’ alcohol consumption.

Besides the curb on sports sponsorship, the new plans also include measures of restricting advertising of alcohol on social media.

According to The Independent, the bill also includes:

  • A 9pm watershed for television and radio advertising of alcohol.
  • The introduction of minimum pricing, which will mean a bottle of wine cannot be sold for less than around €8 and a can of beer for under €2.
  • Warning labels on alcohol bottles and cans.
  • Health warnings on the dangers of drinking while pregnant.
  • The amount of pure alcohol in grams and the calorie count.
  • Labels will warn that alcohol abuse can cause cancer, liver disease and hepatitis.
  • The bottles and cans will include a link to a new website by the HSE to provide public health information and advice on alcohol misuse.
  • It will be illegal to either market or advertise alcohol in a way that is appealing to children.
  • Pubs, clubs and restaurants will be obliged to provide information to customers on alcohol products sold on draught or in measures such as pints, glasses of wine or measures of spirits.
  • Health warnings will have to be included in any promotional material.

The package of measures is particularly noteworthy as it will be the fist regulation of sports sponsorship and alcohol advertising on a legal footing for Ireland.

Irish newspaper The Independent figures alcohol advertising and marketing overall are around €70m a year and sports get a lucrative slice of this spend.

The proposed legislation will also include a range of new powers for health inspectors to enforce the separation of alcohol in stores. They will be given powers to police minimum pricing, health labelling, marketing and advertising.

The new plans are presented against the backdrop of stark statistics showing 88 people die in Ireland every month due to alcohol.

The plans are soon to be presented to the Parliament, after which they need to be approved.

Source: The Independent 11/7/2015

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