on the Health Select Committee have published their report on the Government’s
Alcohol Strategy. Pricing has been the big proposal to date, but there are calls for ad restrictions too – including a look at the French Loi
Evin model, where alcohol advertising is banned on television and in cinemas.
Here are some of our reasons why changing alcohol advertising regulations would not be reasonable or effective.
Alcohol advertising promotes responsible drinking behaviour
Alcohol advertising will NEVER depict drunkenness or drinking to excess.
Advertisements for alcohol in the UK almost always carry a “drink responsibly” message; depict moderation; and link to the Drinkaware web-site for further information.
There is no evidence that advertising is linked to binge-drinking or anti-social behaviour.
The content AND placement of alcohol advertising is well regulated to avoid appealing to U18s
Marketing communications must not be likely to appeal particularly to people under 18
No medium should be used to advertise alcoholic drinks if more than 25% of its audience is under 18 years of age (the 120 index is used for television)
Any model or actor used in an ad must neither be nor appear to be under 25
In addition, both cinema and television make judgment calls on particular shows – for example, the new Batman release will not carry alcohol advertising
There is no evidence to suggest that further restrictions (for example, a 10% audience share) are a necessary or proportionate response.
The French experiment with Loi Evin has not worked.
In 1999, the French Parliament concluded that Loi Evin (introduced in 1991) had been ineffective in reducing high-risk drinking patterns1 and even the French anti-alcohol NGO ‘ANPAA’ accepts that the effects of the law are “weak”2. They continue to advocate regulation along the lines of the Loi Evin on “symbolic” grounds.
The UK drinks the same as the European average, we are drinking less often, and we are drinking more sensibly.
UK per capita consumption has fallen from 9.5 to 8.3 litres per head3 between 2004 and 2011. Consumption in the UK is equal to the European average, and we are lower than many of our European neighbours, including Spain, Ireland and France.4
The majority or people drink within weekly guidelines - in 2010, 74% of men drank less than 21 units p/w (2005: 69%) and 83% of women drank less than 14 units p/w (2005: 79%).5
Drinking at harmful levels falling - in 2010, 6% of men drank more than 50 units p/w (2005: 9%) with the equivalent for women down to 3% from 5%).6
Binge drinking is down - in 2010, 19% of men drank more than 8 units on their heaviest drinking day (2005: 23%) and 13% of women drank over 6 units (down from 15% in 2005).7
If you want to know when we publish one of these alerts, follow @ad_association
 La Loi relative à la lutte contre le tabagisme et l'alcoolisme : rapport d'évaluation, G.
Berger et al., La Documentation
Française, p. 106
 The ‘Loi Evin’ : a French exception, Dr. Alain
Rigaud, Président Association Nationale
de Prévention en Alcoologie et
 HM Customs and Excise & British
Beer & Pub Association, New figures show UK alcohol consumption down again
in 2011, 11 March 2012.
 OECD Health
Data ,2010; WHO, 2010
 Ibid., Table 2.2
 Ibid., Table 2.4