The National Scot, 21st September 2023 by Steph Brawn 

IT is “frustrating” the Scottish Government does not have full power to control alcohol advertising, a campaigning charity has said.

Laura Mahon, deputy chief executive at Alcohol Focus Scotland, said even if the Scottish Government was to take the most comprehensive approach to restricting marketing, it would admittedly still be limited in the number of channels it could reduce exposure through.

While the Scottish Government has the power to remove adverts in print media, outdoor spaces – such as billboards and bus stops – and sports and events sponsorship, it does not have power over broadcast advertising which is reserved to Westminster.

“We’re now starting to lag behind other countries. Ireland has already taken bold measures to restrict marketing so we need to be catching up with them if we want to maintain our reputation as a leading country on this issue.” Alcohol Focus Scotland is advocating for a full ban on alcohol marketing and in particular brand marketing which can be used as a loophole when restrictions are brought in, i.e. advertising 0% products so a company’s brand is still visible. 

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