Scottish football could be hit with alcohol advertising ban

Holyrood is considering an 'Estonian-style' system for alcohol advertising as part of a new consultation.

Scottish football could be hit with alcohol advertising ban under new proposals SNS Group

Alcohol advertising could be banned from sports events, billboards and buses under plans being considered by the Scottish Government.

A consultation on restricting alcohol advertising suggests banning sponsorship arrangements for clubs and organisations to create a more “family-friendly” environment.

The Government said alcohol advertising is seen by large numbers of children and is linked to problematic drinking later in life.

One option being considered is banning alcohol-branded sports merchandise, including on replica kits.

It could also prohibit alcohol adverts on pitch-side hoardings and stop players and managers from appearing in adverts online or on TV.

The Scottish Professional Football League has Glen’s Vodka as an official sponsor.

The consultation also considers alcohol advertising at cultural events like music festivals, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

The Government acknowledges in the consultation paper that a prohibition on alcohol sponsorship for events would be a “significant undertaking” and seeks views on how long a lead-in time would be needed.

Research examining 34 football and rugby teams and organisations found 39% had a sponsorship relationship with an alcohol producer or distributor.

The paper also suggests banning all outdoor alcohol advertising, including on vehicles.

It mentions Estonian marketing restrictions, which limit alcohol advertising to purely factual content in order to make it less appealing.

Public health minister Maree Todd said: “There is clear evidence that adverts which glamorise drinking can encourage young people to drink alcohol and have a detrimental impact on those in recovery from problem alcohol use.

“We are making progress already, with our minimum unit pricing reducing alcohol sales in the off-trade, but with 1,245 alcohol-related deaths last year we know that more needs to be done if we are to tackle Scotland’s problematic relationship with alcohol.

“This consultation is an important step in doing that, and I am extremely grateful for the young voices who have helped us get this far.”

The consultation will close on March 9 next year.

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