Health experts hit out at Euro booze advertising

Health campaigners in the North East say it is ‘appalling’ that big alcohol brands are sponsoring high profile sports events, such as the ongoing European Football Championships.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 5:56 pm
Sue Taylor of Balance

Balance, the North East Alcohol office, says the tournament is exposing millions of under-18s to alcohol brands, at a time when alcohol-specific deaths have hit record levels, with rates particularly high in the North East.

Balance says research shows that exposure to alcohol sponsorship – including product placements at televised press conferences – is associated with increased levels of alcohol consumption and risky drinking among schoolchildren.

Sue Taylor acting head of alcohol policy at Balance said: “It is appalling that millions of children are seeing alcohol brands in front of their favourite football players and managers. It is designed to give the impression that they endorse these products, and that they’re having a pre or post-match beer.

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“The fact this is 0% beer is neither here nor there - all anyone can see is the alcohol brand."

She added: "We urge people to consider the fact that exposure to alcohol brands encourages young people to drink at earlier ages and to drink more.

"Big alcohol companies invest billions of pounds in advertising strategies and events like the Euros, which are aimed at increasing their market share and making people associate sport, success and fitness with alcohol.

"However, we know that alcohol is a harmful substance, and we need to do more to protect our children from alcohol advertising, particularly in a sporting context, where millions of under-18s are watching the Euros.”