Industry Hits Back at BMA Plan for Alcohol Ads Ban; Halewood Says Sector Is Already Tightly Policed

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), September 10, 2009 | Go to article overview

Industry Hits Back at BMA Plan for Alcohol Ads Ban; Halewood Says Sector Is Already Tightly Policed


Byline: ALISTAIR HOUGHTON

MERSEYSIDE drinks giant Halewood International has criticised the British Medical Association's call for a total ban on alcohol advertising.

The BMA said yesterday that there should be a total ban on alcohol advertising, including happy hours and sponsorship of music and sporting events.

The BMA says a tough package of measures is needed to "tackle the soaring cost of alcohol-related harm" in the UK. It says the industry spends pounds 800m a year on advertising and promotion.

But drinks industry bodies say alcohol advertising is already very tightly-regulated - and that education is crucial in curbing drink-related anti-social behaviour.

Huyton-based Halewood International is one of the UK's largest independent manufacturers and distributors of alcoholic drinks. Its brands include Lambrini and Lamb''s Navy Rum.

Halewood's marketing director, Graham Oak said: "The UK alcoholic drinks industry is highly competitive, and as such it is not in our interests to produce marketing material that subsequently gets banned because this constitutes a waste of money.

"It is worth remembering that the sale and marketing of alcohol is already highly regulated in the UK. What we need is more effective enforcement of existing legislation, combined with a centrally driven education programme, rather than more rules and red tape.

"Many of the issues raised around the marketing of alcohol are based increasingly on perceptions and points of view, rather than fact. …

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