Alcohol marketing, promotion and sponsorship are widespread in most of the world today. Alcohol marketing is evolving constantly and utilizes multiple channels, including youth-oriented radio, television, sports events and popular music concerts, websites, social media, mobile phones and product placements in movies and TV shows. Marketers are moving increasingly to digital and social media, where efforts at regulation have fallen far behind industry innovations in producing audience engagement and brand ambassadorship.
Alcohol is a psychoactive substance with numerous negative consequences to the health and wellbeing of consumers as well as others affected by drinkers’ behavior. With the advent of recent restrictions on tobacco marketing as a result of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, no other legal product with such potential for harm is as promoted and advertised in the world. Most countries have no statutory legislation regulating the exposure of children or adults to alcohol marketing, so they must rely only upon self-regulatory codes developed and implemented by the alcohol industry . Harmful use of alcohol is increasing among young people and women in some regions of the world, especially in the Americas region [2,3]. Given the causal role of harmful use of alcohol in negative health outcomes to drinkers and others (regardless of their drinking status), the promotion of alcohol consumption by means of marketing needs to be controlled by governments as part of their duty to protect
the health of their populations, particularly among the most vulnerable groups.
In 2010, the World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted the Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol (WHA 63.13). Among the guiding principles of the Global Strategy, three are particularly relevant to alcohol marketing control. The first is that preventing and reducing the harmful use of alcohol is a public health priority; another is the importance of protecting populations at high isk of alcohol-attributable harm; and the third is that children, teenagers and adults who choose not to drink alcoholic beverages have the right to be supported in their non-drinking behavior and protected from pressures to drink.