The three 'best buys'
The World Health Organization has identified the following policy measures as the three 'best buys' to reduce alcohol harm:
- Price measures, in particular tax increases
- Reducing the availability and accessibility of alcohol
- Restricting alcohol advertising and sponsorship
As shown in the Introduction to this overall section, there is strong evidence relating to the impact of alcohol advertising and alcohol consumption:
- Young people with greater exposure to alcohol marketing are more likely to start drinking and drink heavily
- The association between alcohol marketing and drinking among young people is causal
From 2010-2016, strong public support was found for restricting advertising and sponsorship:
- 80% supported restrictions on alcohol advertising to young people
- 68% support banning alcohol sponsorship of events that young people may attend
During the Law Commission review of the regulatory framework for the sale and supply of liquor, no issue was more hotly contested in consultation meetings and submissions than the issue of alcohol advertising and promotions. The consensus was that advertising should be more heavily controlled, while sponsorship and promotions associating alcohol with sporting activity were widely deplored. Almost every submitter to the Law Commission commented on advertising and sponsorship (2281 out of 2939 submissions). Of those submissions, 86% supported banning or restricting all advertising of all alcohol in all media.