The Journal, Friday 12 May 2023
Alcohol Action Ireland believe that the adverts breach the Public Health Alcohol Act which bans certain types of alcohol advertising.
ALCOHOL ACTION IRELAND has recommended that the government ban big alcohol brands from “brand sharing”, something which allows zero alcohol beers to use the same branding as their alcoholic alternatives.
The advocacy group, who campaign to reduce alcohol harm, believe that the adverts breach the Public Health Alcohol Act which aims to reduce alcohol use in Ireland by 20% and bans certain types of alcohol advertising.
Alcohol Action says in a recent report, that the adverts are in contravention with the advertising section of the act, which describes advertising as “any form of commercial communication with the aim or direct or indirect effect of promoting an alcohol product”.
The PHAA says that advertising includes “a statement of the name of the manufacturer or important of an alcohol product, or the name of any brand of alcohol product”.
Additionally, the act says that any publication “trade description” or “trademark, emblem, marketing image or logo” is counted as advertising.
Alcohol Action believes that alcohol brands circumvent these laws by advertising their brandings, trademarks and logos attached and adding that it is a non-alcoholic alternative at the end of the brand.
The group is also concerned that brand sharing could lead to children seeing people drinking what looks like alcohol, due to the same branding, and will “be conditioned to think differently about when and where it is appropriate to drink alcohol”.
Responding to Alcohol Action today, Drinks Ireland, who represent members from the Irish alcohol beverage sector, said: “The Government funded anti-alcohol lobby group is seeking again to incorrectly conflate alcohol and non-alcohol drinks which are distinct consumer offerings”.
The representative group’s director, Cormac Healy, said “It’s bizarre that Alcohol Action Ireland is trying to limit a category that is actually supporting the objective of the Public Health Alcohol Act in reducing alcohol consumption.”
Healy said Drinks Ireland “firmly believe” that zero alcohol products “offer consumers a choice that supports moderation”.