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UK: Alcohol advertising rules face probe

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Media regulator Ofcom has called on the UK's advertising authorities to investigate whether the rules limiting children's exposure to alcohol advertising are "effective". 

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The  Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) and Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have been asked to examine the current rules and report back to Ofcom by October. The move comes after Ofcom research showed that children in the UK saw an average of 3.2 alcohol adverts per week in 2011, compared to 2.7 in 2007. 

The study showed that children are now watching "more programmes aimed largely at an adult audience", Ofcom said. 

It added: "There has been a shift in viewing by children to channels with more advertising. As a result, their exposure to all forms of advertising, including alcohol, has increased."

BCAP said it has already been examining the rules in light of the UK Government's alcohol strategy. On Ofcom's research, CEO Ed Richards said: "We are pleased that the research shows that children continue to see significantly fewer alcohol ads than adults, both relatively and in absolute terms." 

But he added: "We agree that Ofcom’s research warrants a closer examination of the current regulatory arrangements to ensure they remain effective."


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