Irelands authorities are looking at a ban on alcohol sponsorship for sports events and outdoor ads

Ireland's authorities are looking at a ban on alcohol sponsorship for sports events and outdoor ads

Molson Coors has said a ban on alcohol advertising and sports sponsorship in Ireland would restrict competition and make it "almost impossible" to grow its share of the market.

Niall Phelan, the brewer's emerging markets & craft beer director for UK & Ireland, has spoken out after suggestions from Diageo last week that it will cut investment in Ireland if the controversial measures go ahead. "It would hamper competition in the market," Phelan told the Sunday Business Post. 

"Diageo and Heineken have spent lots of money building equity in their brands, building their market share. The ban would make it almost impossible to grow share. It would be very difficult for us to expand."

He also rejected the idea that sports sponsorship is being used to attract consumers into the beer category. "Those days are long gone," he said. "Competitors have to take share from one another. Competition is our main concern."

A Molson Coors spokesperson confirmed the statements to just-drinks today. 

Meanwhile, Heineken has also spoken out against the plans. Its Ireland marketing director Sharon Walsh said the group would be "hugely disappointed if event sponsorship wasn't an option for us going forward", the paper reported.