Analysis

just Five Years Ago: Ireland's clampdown on alcohol

Most popular

Heineken faces China distribution gap - comment

Heineken faces tough battle in China - analysis

Tailor spirits marketing to today's consumer

Remy Cointreau rediscovers China balance - comment

'Gluten-free' beer for everyone, not just coeliacs

MORE

The Republic of Ireland has long been tagged, for good or bad, as being a hard-drinking nation. The charity Alcohol Action Ireland claims that Irish adults "binge-drink" more than any of their European compatriots.

And increasingly politicians have been seeking to address the country's relationship with alcohol and how it is promoted.

Around five years ago, calls came for new laws on how alcohol is advertised on television in the country to protect children. The National Youth Council of Ireland argued that a 9pm watershed should be put in place for alcohol advertising with financial penalties for anyone breaking the rules. Though not heeded, the move represented a sign of things to come as the industry has grappled with the threat of heightened restrictions ever since.

The biggest threat has been the possibility of drinks firms being banned from sponsoring sporting events. In 2010, a report by an Irish parliamentary committee called on the Government to “phase out” alcohol sponsorship of sport as soon as possible. The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland, however, warned it would be “ruinous” for sport.

Less than two years later, an Irish Government Department of Health steering committee, backed by Ireland's chief medical officer, voiced fresh calls for a sports sponsorship ban, calling for measures to be put in place by 2016. The committee also urged a minimum price on alcohol.

Diageo's then-CEO Paul Walsh branded the potential sports tie-up ban as “ridiculous”. The head of European Professional Football Leagues also spoke out against the proposed move.

By last year, Diageo's boss in Ireland went further by suggesting the company would cut its investment in the country if the ban went ahead. Meanwhile, Molson Coors added its oppositon to the plans, saying it would restrict competition in the market. In an interview with just-drinks, the head of Pernod Ricard's Irish Distillers unit also questioned the plan.

The industry's collective teeth-gnashing on the issue appeared to have worked. Last October, the Irish Government said it was deferring the ban on sport sponsorship. However, at the same time, the authorities revealed proposals for a minimum unit price on alcohol and restrictions on TV and radio advertising as part of widespread new alcohol policy.

The industry has a fight on its hands yet.


Related Content

South Africa's wine industry is on its knees and it's not just thanks to COVID - comment

South Africa's wine industry is on its knees and it's not just thanks to COVID - comment...

Anheuser-Busch InBev hard seltzers make ground on White Claw in lockdown - CEO

Anheuser-Busch InBev hard seltzers make ground on White Claw in lockdown - CEO...

Why studies into the link between alcohol and breast cancer have produced different results - International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research Critique 236

Why studies into the link between alcohol and breast cancer have produced different results - Intern...

How will your alcohol intake affect the likelihood of dementia in later life? - International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research Critique 218

How will your alcohol intake affect the likelihood of dementia in later life? - International Scient...

Oops! This article is copy protected.

Why can’t I copy the text on this page?

The ability to copy articles is specially reserved for people who are part of a group membership.

How do I become a group member?

To find out how you and your team can copy and share articles and save money as part of a group membership call Sean Clinton on
+44 (0)1527 573 736 or complete this form..



Forgot your password?