RT€ Ireland 14 May 2023 14.40
There has been a call for 0% alcohol products such as beers to have different branding to their alcoholic alternatives.
The CEO of Alcohol Action Ireland has said there is a “proliferation of zero-alcohol products” being advertised in settings such as on public transport and that it is in contravention of regulations under the Public Health Alcohol Act. Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week, Sheila Gilheany said Alcohol Action Ireland wants companies to be banned from what’s known as “brand sharing” – a process that the advocacy group claims allows zero-alcohol drinks to use the same branding as their alcoholic alternatives for advertising purposes.
Ms Gilheany said the HSE is the body which has responsibility for enforcing that legislation and believes it should be taking action. She also said if there is an issue with the legislation it needs to be amended.
“If there is some problem, maybe if the legislation isn’t clear enough, then in that case we would be saying to Stephen Donnelly, the Minister for Health, that we should look again at that legislation and make it explicit.
However, the Director of Drinks Ireland has rejected any suggestion that the alcoholic drinks industry in Ireland is attempting to circumvent the Public Health Alcohol Act in the way it advertises zero-alcohol drinks.
“Absolutely not. I think the suggestions that that is the case are incorrect and disingenious,” Cormac Healy said on the same programme.
He said there is a consumer demand for zero and low-alcohol products and industry and drinks manufacturers are responding to this shift in demand.
“They are offering consumers a choice,” he said.