Ban for North East advert that highlights danger of drink

AN advert highlighting the dangers alcohol advertising poses to youngsters in the North East has been banned from being aired on television.

AN advert highlighting the dangers alcohol advertising poses to youngsters in the North East has been banned from being aired on television.

Balance, the North East alcohol office, produced a short film which shows how alcohol advertising encourages children to drink underage as it bombards young people with images making drinkers appear popular, successful and attractive.

The See What Sam Sees advert follows a young boy, taking photographs of alcohol images during a normal day in his life. The photographs he has taken then flood the screen.

But regulators said the film cannot be viewed on TV as it contravenes the Communications Act 2003 – due to the fact that Balance hoped to use the ad to encourage visitors to its website to sign a petition.

The petition calls on Government to introduce more meaningful regulations to stop the alcohol industry reaching children and young people through advertising. An advert from the campaign features in today’s Page 11 of The Journal.

Colin Shevills, director of Balance said: “It seems unfair that an advert which seeks to inform people and protect public health and the lives of our children is deemed unfit for broadcast.

“Meanwhile the alcohol industry routinely flouts the rules by making drinkers appear popular and attractive – something which it is not supposed to be able to do. From our latest perception survey we also know that 68% of people in the North East agree that there should be a ban on alcohol advertising before 9pm.”

Join our Journal Viewpoints reader panel for a chance to win £500 and help shape the future of your newspaper's website http://www.journallive.co.uk/viewpoints

Balance claims that alcohol advertising is risking the lives and futures of children across the North East and people from the region are being encouraged to take a child’s eye view and witness the way the alcohol industry is targeting under 18s.

Mr Shevills said: “Our children are brought up in a world where drinking at an early age and consuming large quantities is viewed as ‘normal’ or ‘acceptable’ and alcohol advertising plays a central role in this. We need to stop the alcohol industry from recruiting its next generation of drinkers and exposing young people to £800m worth of marketing a year.”

Balance is now urging people to sign its petition which calls out for a change in regulations to prevent alcohol adverts from targeting children and young people and stop them from being shown through social networking sites and sponsorship of sporting and youth events.

Mr Shevills added: “Sadly, we live in a society where alcohol is too heavily promoted, too available and too affordable.

“It has become a dangerous part of our culture and it is obvious that the next generation is already being influenced by alcohol advertising at an early age. We need to protect our children and I hope people across the region will support our campaign.”

To sign Balance's petition visit www.balancenortheast.co.uk

Join our Journal Viewpoints reader panel for a chance to win £500 and help shape the future of your newspaper's website http://www.journallive.co.uk/viewpoints

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer