Alcoholic Drinks: Children

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 17th December 2018.

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Photo of Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Conservative, Congleton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that children are protected from the marketing of alcohol products.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Government is committed to working with industry to address concerns over any irresponsible promotions, advertising and marketing relating to alcohol, particularly to ensure that children and young people are suitably protected. Advertising in the United Kingdom is regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority, the industry’s independent regulator, who enforces the Advertising Codes through a system of self-regulation and co-regulation with Ofcom. The Codes apply to all media, including broadcast and online, and set standards for accuracy and honesty to which advertisers are expected to adhere, including specific conditions on advertising to children, causing offence and social responsibility. The Codes currently state that alcohol advertising must not be targeted at people under 18 and “should not imply, condone or encourage immoderate, irresponsible or anti-social drinking."

The Codes are regularly reviewed and updated to ensure they remain effective. The Portman Group also provides a Code to the alcohol industry on Naming and Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks, which includes that drinks should not have a particular appeal to under-18s.

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