Daily Newsletter

21 November 2023

Daily Newsletter

21 November 2023

Ireland sets 9pm watershed on alcohol advertising

The new rules will come into force on 10 January.

Conor Reynolds November 20 2023

Ireland is to introduce a new watershed on TV and radio adverts for alcohol products.

The Irish government has amended its Public Health (Alcohol) Bill to regulate when brand owners and broadcasters can place advertising.

The new rules state alcohol adverts cannot be shown on TV between the hours of 3.00am and 9.00pm. On sound broadcasts, stations will be blocked from placing advertisements between midnight and 10.00am and then from 3.00pm to midnight.

The legislation, signed into law by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, will come into force on 10 January.

The Public Health Bill, introduced in 2018, has a number of alcohol provisions that are changing how alcohol is displayed and promoted in Ireland. In supermarkets, alcohol is separated from all other products in a barriered section in the store.

In May, Ireland passed legislation to require that alcoholic drinks products feature labels with comprehensive health warnings. Due to take effect in 2026, label requirements will include telling consumers about the risks of drinking alcohol as well as providing a product’s calorie content.

It is a move that set Ireland on a collision course with its trading partners both in and outside of the EU. Thirteen EU member states including Italy, France and Spain asked the European Commission to look into whether the labelling requirements would contravene EU law. However, the EU found that Ireland had justified its new rules on public health grounds.

In January, Canada drastically cut its alcohol consumption guidelines to no more than two alcoholic drinks per week, arguing there is no safe level at which to drink. The country is also seeking to implement health warnings for alcoholic drinks products.

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