Alcohol advertising is often a sensitive topic, especially around the holiday period. General concerns about alcohol, in particular problems such as binge and underage drinking, mean that it is rarely out of the news.
The UK advertising rules for alcohol are stringent, and based upon evidence that points to a link between alcohol advertising and people’s awareness and attitudes to drinking.
Accordingly the rules, independently enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority, were significantly tightened some years ago. These rules, which apply across all media and are mandatory, place a particular emphasis on protecting young people.
Adverts for alcohol must not be directed at people under 18 or contain anything that is likely to appeal to them by reflecting youth culture or by linking alcohol with irresponsible behaviour, social success or sexual attractiveness.
The TV and radio advertising rules also contain strict controls about the placement and content of alcohol advertising. Alcohol ads are banned from appearing in and around programmes commissioned for or principally targeted at audiences below the age of 18, as well as programmes likely to appeal particularly to audiences below that age.
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