Concerns over ‘blanket’ booze advertising in Rugby

Research suggests a link between drinking and alcohol advertising.  Photo: David Jones/PA Wire

Research suggests a link between drinking and alcohol advertising. Photo: David Jones/PA Wire

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Concerns about alcohol-related health problems in the town during next year’s Rugby World Cup have prompted calls to restrict alcohol advertising.

A Rugby Borough Council ‘task group’ believes local authorities should be given powers to regulate how many adverts for drink could be placed in the town, and where they should be.

And while the councillors concede there is currently “very little” alcohol advertising on Rugby’s streets, they fear that next year’s tournament could lead to a glut of posters around the town encouraging people to drink.

In a report discussed by the council’s cabinet on Monday, the authority’s customers and partnership committee states: “The task group was concerned that the 2015 Rugby World Cup will prompt the drinks industry to launch a campaign of blanket alcohol advertising at match venues and associated tourist destinations such as Rugby.”

It believes the Local Government Association “should be asked to look into the feasibility of pressing for legislation to give councils powers to regulate the quantity and siting of alcohol street advertising in their areas.” It added: “The task group was disappointed that councils have no powers to regulate the amount of alcohol advertising.”

A study in the journal BMC Public Health in 2009 found that data “suggests there is an association between exposure to alcohol advertising or promotional activity and subsequent alcohol consumption in young people”.

The Advertising Standards Authority has a set of rules specific to alcohol. These mainly restrict the claims made, and positive associations suggested, in advertisements.

A trade organisation has voluntarily adopted a restriction on advertising within 100 metres of schools.