The Scottish Government has launched a consultation that could see alcohol advertising banned across all public spaces.

17 Nov. 2022 Daily Record; By Chris McCall 

Glen’s vodka was announced as an official sponsor of the SPFL in 2020

Football clubs could be banned from advertising alcohol on match shirts or in stadiums under tough new regulations being considered by the Scottish Government.

Health campaigners have long called for a clampdown on brewers and distillers using high-profile sporting events to market their products.

SNP ministers have now launched a consultation asking the public to have their say on how booze ads could be restricted across society.

It could put an end to long-standing drinks sponsorship deals across all professional sport north of the Border including rugby and golf.

Another option under consideration is a total ban on alcohol promotions in public places which would prevent drinks being advertised on billboards or at transport hubs.

But SNP ministers lack powers over broadcasting and the internet so would be unlikely to halt booze adverts on TV or radio without agreement from the UK Government.

Maree Todd, public health minister, said: “There is clear evidence that adverts which glamorise drinking can encourage young people to drink alcohol and have a detrimental impact on those in recovery from problem alcohol use.

“We are making progress already – with our minimum unit pricing reducing alcohol sales in the off-trade – but with 1,245 alcohol related deaths last year we know that more needs to be done if we are to tackle Scotland’s problematic relationship with alcohol.

“This consultation is an important step in doing that, and I am extremely grateful for the young voices who have helped us get this far.”

Alison Douglas, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, said: “We are constantly bombarded by alcohol marketing and it affects us all.

“It makes alcohol consumption seem normal and desirable when the reality is it is responsible for one in 15 of all deaths in Scotland.

“Children and young people, and people in recovery are particularly affected. They tell us that they see alcohol marketing everywhere and it prevents them being able to fully live and thrive in their communities.

“We are pleased to see that the Scottish Government have today published their consultation on introducing restrictions on alcohol marketing which covers a broad range of marketing tactics including sponsorship of sports and events, outdoor advertising, branded merchandise and how alcohol is sold in shops.

“Scotland has the powers to act in all of these areas. This is an opportunity for us to be ambitious and to put people’s right to health before company profits by introducing restrictions.”

The SPFL was criticised in 2020 when Glen’s vodka was announced as an official corporate sponsor.

League supremo Neil Doncaster insisted it was “an exciting partnership with a well-respected Scottish brand” at a time when the professional game north of the border was struggling financially due to Covid.

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