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UK: Trade bodies dispute that alcohol advertising ban would work

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A ban on alcohol advertising in France has had "no significant" impact on harm, a trade body has said. 

The British Beer & Pub Association said the evidence it has seen on the Loi Evin law suggested the measure was not affecting consumption or alcohol-realated issues. Its comments came in the wake of today's Health Committe report urging the government to examine a similar law for the UK

The Advertising Association backed up the BBPA's stance pointing out that "in 1999 the French parliament concluded that Loi Evin had been ineffective in reducing high-risk drinking patterns". Loi Evin, introduced in 1991, bans alcohol advertising in TV, cinema and sports events. 

The committee backed the government's plan for minimum pricing. However the Wine and Spirit Trade Asscociation (WSTA) said it "regretted" the backing for the measure as the committee itself admitted there was a lack of evidence about the impact of different price levels. 

The WSTA also defended industry efforts over the Responsibility Deal. WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: "It is premature to pre-judge the impact of voluntary commitments made as part of the Public Health Responsibility Deal when the evidence suggests the industry is making good progress towards fulfilling the voluntary labelling initiative and significantly reducing the quantity of alcohol units sold through the UK market." 

Portman Group chief excutive Henry Ashworth said it is "deeply disappointing that they (the committee) have failed to understand the significance of the innovative unit reduction pledge, supported by all major producers, retailers and leading wholesalers".


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