- Diageo is failing to provide latest guidelines on their products
- Drinks companies keeping consumers in dark about risky drinking
- Reducing alcohol consumption can address health inequalities
- Alcohol-specific deaths remain at very high levels
- Oh Lila goes digital
- Global first alcohol policy set to save hundreds of Scots' lives
- AFS welcomes minimum unit pricing for alcohol
- Walker's crisp ad exposes children to alcohol marketing
- Truer picture of alcohol harm revealed
- Focus on link between alcohol and obesity
- Alcohol causes 3,700 deaths in Scotland every year
- Last Christmas for heavily discounted alcohol
- Scotland's licensing system needs clearer direction
- Minimum pricing blog
- Minimum pricing gets green light
- Reflections on GAPC 2017
- Alcohol brands and young people
- Time for honest conversations about alcohol
- Q&A on alcohol marketing
- UK children anxious about parents' drinking
- Quarter of Scots drink above guidelines
- Alcohol producers failing to inform public
- Concern over alcohol-related deaths
- We need to make it easier for people to drink less
- Worrying rise in alcohol-related deaths
- Minimum pricing will save lives
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- Scotland's alcohol problem laid bare
- Cheap alcohol is costing Scotland dear
- One drink a day can increase breast cancer risk
- Poverty linked to increased harm from alcohol
- What next for reducing alcohol harm in Scotland?
- Scotland must do more to turn tide of alcohol harm
- Concern as funding for alcohol services cut
- Budget: No change in alcohol duty
- Scottish Government urged to curb alcohol marketing
- Consumers have the right to know health risks
- Chancellor urged to tackle cheap, strong cider in Budget
- Online help for families affected by alcohol
- Alcohol-free childhood is healthiest option
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- Drink drive warning
- Scottish Greens call for action on alcohol marketing
- Scottish Government receives European alcohol award
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- Half of alcohol being sold under 50p per unit
- SWA urged to respect minimum pricing decision
- Alcohol and mental health are closely linked
- Minimum pricing can be implemented in Scotland
- Alcohol sold at pocket money prices
- Scotland has so much to gain from reducing how much we drink
- AFS welcomes revised alcohol consumption guidelines
- Emergency services face shocking levels of alcohol abuse
- Every child has the right to grow up safe from alcohol harm
- Public health must prevail over big business
- New toolkit to help children affected by family alcohol problems
- Price check reveals cheap cost of strong alcohol
- Sales increase underlines need for minimum pricing
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- Alcohol linked with stomach cancer
- AFS calls for compulsory health warnings on alcoholic drinks
- Are supermarkets 'responsible retailers' when it comes to alcohol?
- Scottish health charities call for excise duty rise to tackle cheap alcohol
- Alcohol campaigners unite to call for stronger protection from alcohol advertising to children
- New resource for people concerned about alcohol in their community
- Minimum pricing decision delayed until summer
- No completely 'safe' level of drinking
- New alcohol guidelines published
- Minimum pricing - European court ruling
- Alcohol fuels ambulance assaults
- 82% of Scots agree drink driving is unacceptable
- Scotland's alcohol strategy - what next?
- Scotland leads way in evidence-based alcohol policy
- New report reveals impact of alcohol on emergency services
- Alcohol: a global concern
Q&A on alcohol marketing
Karine Gallopel-Morvan is Professor (social marketing) at the EHESP School of Public Health, Rennes, France, and Honorary Professor at the University of Stirling.
Karine was a member of the expert network on alcohol marketing which developed our report: Promoting good health from childhood. Reducing the impact of alcohol marketing on children in Scotland (pdf)
The alcohol industry say advertising simply promotes sales of individual brands, and there is no evidence of a link between advertising and alcohol-related harm. What evidence is there to dispute this?
Much research has been conducted on the link between advertising and alcohol consumption. Studies have highlighted a dose-response relationship between exposure to alcohol advertising and the onset of drinking and heavier drinking among young people. Some specific forms of alcohol advertising have also been studied. For instance, researchers have shown an association between exposure to in-store ads (e.g. supermarkets) and alcohol use among young people; and exposure to alcohol advertising on websites and social networks has been shown to be positively correlated to alcohol-related perceptions and alcohol behaviors in minors.
Why are children and young people so important when it comes to alcohol marketing?
Like for other industries (tobacco companies, food industry, etc.), children and young people represent a very important market, and they are future consumers for brands and alcohol companies.
What are some of the tactics that the alcohol industry use to target women?
Different tactics are used by the alcohol industry: sweet and flavoured tastes, "light” drinks in order to decrease calorie intake, luxury codes displayed on ads or through packaging, presence of alcohol brands in films and TV series that women like, association with female role models (Scarlett Johansson, Kim Cattrall – Sex and the City), association of alcohol brands with breast cancer charities, etc.
Are there parallels with tobacco advertising strategies?
Yes definitely. They are strong similarities with tobacco marketing strategies and with tobacco lobbying strategies too. The aim of tobacco and of alcohol companies is to increase their market share and to fight against marketing and advertising regulations. To reach these aims, they use the same tools.
Are some forms of alcohol marketing particularly inappropriate? Or is it the overall volume of marketing which matters?
The key element to increase the effectiveness of advertising and marketing in general is repetition: the more people are exposed to ads, the more effective ads are on brand recall, positive brand perceptions and behaviours. As a consequence, a “360 degree marketing campaign” is a very effective way to reach consumers wherever they are through a wide range of media: television, mobile, social networks, radio, product placement in films, outdoor ads, banners in shops, etc. Beyond repetition, advertising content is also important for alcohol companies to increase the image and the attractiveness of their brands.
Are there successful examples of restrictions on alcohol marketing in other countries? How successful has the loi Évin been?
Countries which have implemented restrictions on alcohol marketing include France, Finland and Estonia. The loi Évin that was voted in France in 1991 contained three core measures.
- The first prohibits alcohol advertising through media targeted at young people, but other less intrusive media are allowed.
- The second measure controls advertising content in authorized situations: product information must only contain factual/informative data and objective qualities (e.g., proof, origin, composition and means of production).
- The third measure requires the health warning ‘alcohol abuse is dangerous for health’ to appear on all alcohol advertisements.
Since 1991, this law has been constantly attacked and weakened by active lobbying from alcohol producers and retailers: for example, billboard advertising that was initially banned was permitted in 1994. In 2009, a law allowed online alcohol advertising (with the exception of sport websites and websites targeting young people) and in 2015, the loi Évin was weakened once again following intense lobbying from wine producers. In addition and since 1991, legal procedures have regularly condemned illegal alcohol ads that do not respect the loi Évin: up until 2015, the French NGO ANPAA won over 80% of its 60 prosecutions brought to court. As a consequence, the 2017 version of the French Évin law does not appear effectively to protect young people from exposure to alcohol advertising in France, as a recent research conducted in France on students revealed.
What steps should Scotland take to protect children and young people from alcohol marketing?
The 1991 version of the Évin law is obviously more effective than the current version for protecting young people from exposure to alcohol ads. If Scotland wants to learn from the French experience, I recommend to base their future policies on the 1991 version of the law. Scotland must also be prepared to counteract lobbying from the alcohol industry aimed at weakening alcohol control policies and marketing regulations.