Ireland’s Groundbreaking Ban on Alcohol Advertising Aims to Protect Public Health
In a landmark decision slated for implementation on 10 January 2025, Ireland will enforce a ban on alcohol advertising on television and radio. This groundbreaking move, part of the Public Health Act 2018, signifies a major shift in the nation’s approach to public health and alcohol consumption.
Television and Radio Advertising Restrictions
From the set date, no alcoholic products will be advertised on Irish television from 3am to 9pm, according to local sources. The ban extends to Irish radio, where advertisements will be prohibited on weekdays from 3pm to 10pm the following morning.
These new measures, introduced in stages, follow the framework of the Public Health Act 2018. They build on previous restrictions, including the 2021 ban on alcohol advertising during sporting events, akin to France’s Loi Evin.
A department spokesperson emphasized the evidence linking alcohol advertising to increased likelihood of young people starting or escalating alcohol consumption.
Alcohol Action Ireland’s Stance
Dr. Sheila Gilheany, CEO of Alcohol Action Ireland (AAI), underscored the importance of these measures in reducing alcohol exposure, particularly among children. She pointed out that companies like Diageo rank high in advertising to younger audiences, making the ban a significant step in safeguarding public health.
A 2021 survey by AAI revealed strong public backing for the ban, with 70% of Irish people supporting the cessation of alcohol adverts on TV before 9pm. Additionally, 68% favored limiting advertising exposure to children, and 66% supported halting alcohol advertising on social media.
As part of its comprehensive approach, Ireland will also pioneer the introduction of warning labels on alcoholic products, detailing calorie content and health risks. This initiative, however, faces opposition from European wine producers, who label it as “absurd”.