Marketing Alcohol to Young People – An Industry out of Control.

Corporate greed, lies at the heart of the drink industry’s
cynical manipulation of their voluntary codes of advertising practice,
claims a new report by the Institute of Alcohol Studies.

The report Marketing Alcohol to Young People shows irrefutable
evidence that young people are a prime marketing target for the alcohol
industry.

Using the lnternet and other technological inovations the
alcohol industry disregard their codes of practice. Web sites promoting
alcohol are designed to take advantage of the unique properties of
interactive online media-interactive games, competitions, free
giveaways, alcohol

accessories, screensavers, chat rooms, and free e-mail
addresses. These are designed to engage underage visitors and entice
them into an environment of alcohol. Vulnerable young computer users are
lured into a culture of binge drinking which has huge economic and
social repercussions.

Sports sponsorship is the most blatant example of the
circumvention of codes which do not allow alcohol to be associated with
images of sporting prowess. It comprises a marketing mix in which
events, sports clubs, teams, individual stars, clothing and toys are all
connected to a particular brand of alcohol. Even babies in romper suits
become a “living” advertisement for the alcohol industry.

Gina Dafalias, the writer of the report says: Children are
bombarded with positive images of alcohol drinking from the moment they
begin to understand their surroundings until they grow up. The alcohol
industry is carrying out a systematic campaign to turn young people into
drinkers as a way to consolidate and increase their profits …..As a
result young people are drinking at an earlier age and increasing the
number of drinking occasions and the quantity drunk.’

The alcohol industry’s marketing practices are now out of
control and it is woefully obvious that their voluntary codes of
practice are not working.

The Government should introduce a statutory code of
advertising practice which should be monitored by an independent body
with power to apply sanctions against those who infringe the code.

Codes of practice should apply to websites and sports sponsorship as well as media advertising.

Marketing Alcohol to Young People is available here.  (pdf 3.6mb)

Further information:

Institute of Alcohol Studies 01480 466766

Gina Dafalias Mobile 07950 402635