EUCAM - European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing

Drinks advertisements break their own code of self-regulation

23 July 2008

Drinks advertisements break their own code of self-regulation

I.G. - Madrid - 04/07/2008

Advertisements for alcoholic drinks fail to comply with the regulations established by the industry. Out of 4,800 adverts published in newspapers and magazines which were analysed in the period from January to May 2008, 3,356 failed to indicate the alcohol content and 3,060 had no recommendation to drink in moderation, according to a study carried out by the Association of Communication Users (AUC). They therefore fail to comply with the restrictions of the code of self-regulation of advertising of the Spanish Federation of Spirit Drinks and the Spanish Brewers Association. The suppression of the aforementioned information is found "above all in wine advertisements" but also "occurs in adverts for beers and spirits".

The report also points out that 651 adverts associate the consumption of alcohol with professional, social or sexual success and 190 are located on the front or back covers of publications, a practice which is expressly prohibited by their self-regulation codes.

The AUC expresses a particular concern regarding the advertising of beers, owing to the high advertising pressure on television. According to figures form Infoadex corresponding to the period of January - April 2008, beer producers devote 86.5% of their advertising budget to television, " the medium which is closest to young people". The AUC's criticism also extends to the common practice of considering beer as a "refreshing drink" and even "slimming", thus minimizing its alcoholic nature.

The study puts in evidence "some black spots" such as "exterior advertising on hoardings or façades" despite the fact that in most autonomous regions consumption in public thoroughfares is prohibited. The AUC demands a stricter regulation, an end to promotions aimed at young people and the banning of any allusion to the "nutritional values" of beer and wine.

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