Psychiatrists call for total ban on alcohol advertising

By Lunar Loops · Sep 18, 2008 · ·
  1. Lunar Loops
    How depressing to see supposedly learned people still spouting the gateway drug theory (even if it is with respect to alcohol).

    This fom The Irish Times (article link):

    Psychiatrists call for total ban on alcohol advertising


    A GROUP of psychiatrists has called for a complete ban on all alcohol advertising and sponsorship in Ireland.

    Irish teenagers spent €145 million in 2006 on alcohol, more than the entire annual spend on illegal drugs, according to psychiatrist Dr Bobby Smyth from the Irish College of Psychiatrists, a representative body for Irish psychiatrists.

    Dr Smyth was speaking at the publication of a policy paper yesterday which calls for a complete ban on all alcohol advertising and sponsorship in Ireland.

    "A recent report by the Office of Tobacco Control revealed that our 16-17-year-olds spend €20.09 per week on alcohol. This amounts to an illegal alcohol market of €145 million in this country and as a society we seem to be accepting this as 'normal'," he said.

    However, the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland said yesterday there was a sharp decline in alcohol consumption during the first half of this year. An analysis of excise receipts from the Revenue Commissioners reveals sales of alcohol were down 14 per cent last month, compared with August 2007 and fell by 7 per cent during the first eight months of the year.

    The group's chairman Michael Patten predicted the decline would continue. "On the basis of these figures, it's likely that we'll see a decline in alcohol consumption per adult of 8 per cent or more during the current year, that's more than the decline we saw over the past six years combined," he said.

    He said the industry was under pressure due to a weakening economy and a high cost base for alcohol producers and retailers. "This is worrying news for jobs in the domestic alcohol manufacturers in particular, and for the traditional high-employment retail sector."

    Tony Foley, an economist with Dublin City University who carried out the analysis for the industry group, said sales were down in pubs and restaurants as well as in off-licences and supermarkets. "Consumption in Ireland peaked in 2001 and has been in decline since. These figures show however that the pace of that decline has picked up dramatically."

    An international survey of teenage drinking in 2004 by the European School Survey project on alcohol and other drugs revealed Irish teenagers demonstrate the highest rates of drunkenness in Europe, with 25 per cent of respondents saying they got drunk at least three times per month.

    Dr Smyth said this finding was particularly worrying given emerging scientific evidence of the harm alcohol can do to the developing teenage brain. "The earlier someone starts drinking, the more likely they are to develop a dependence ," he said.

    "I am seeing people who start drinking at 13. That gets boring, so they move to drugs at 16 or 18. Alcohol is a gateway drug."

    The psychiatrists' group said Irish children were exposed to high levels of alcohol advertising and sponsorship, with virtually all sporting events linked to alcohol products. Dr Smyth also criticised self-regulation of the industry.

    "We have no meaningful restrictions on advertising in print or electronic media, and all that has happened in recent years is the creation of an illusion that something is being done," he said.

    "There were no drug dealers at the table when the social partners were discussing how to tackle the problem of drug abuse. So why are the alcohol industry at the table? They will do anything to protect their profits. Meanwhile, hundreds of lives are being lost."

    A spokesman for Irish Distillers said the industry was "an industry under pressure", particularly in the Republic as alcohol was more expensive here than in the North.

    Last month, Diageo Ireland also said it was seeing a decline in the alcohol market in the first half of 2008 in all product categories.

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  1. AquafinaOrbit
    Swim sure does love the freedom of these days when one cannot even advertise.
  2. Nature Boy
    Like it will make a difference. Alcohol advertising is limited enough as it is. Removing a few Jack Daniels displays from bus stop wall space is hardly going to make people suddenly forget that alcohol even exists. If they really want to be effective, they should should remove bars and off-licenses from open view on the street i.e. they can only be hidden down side alleys or inside complexes. Sounds insane I know but it's a measure I could imagine seeing sometime in the future.
  3. Joe Duffy
    I wonder if they banned all cocaine advertisements would that help reduce the demand for the substance.
  4. Heretic.Ape.
    Where will the people get their daily barrage of plastic-breasted women in g-string bikinis? Oh well, it's a small price to pay for the obvious benefit that would accompany such a move :rolleyes:
  5. discodave
    can we ban egotistical and controlling psychiatrists? please sir, oh can we.
  6. robin_himself
    I as a psychologist could not agree more to the ban on advertising for alcohol (this include all other substances)

    In the world we live now, the world with limited understanding about dangers, effects, benefits etc. it is not wise to advertise these kind of substances. I don't know what you guys know about marketing and how advertising works on our perception of the world, but it has a tremendous impact. It also projects the wrong image. The image of alcohol is cool and beautiful people drink it. A very onesided story in my opinion.

    If you want to let the world experience the realm of drugs I reckon it would be wise to tell people the whole story. The one-sided version is worse than no story.

    Now on the issue why alot of people are posting hate-posts in reaction of the original post. The whole point of this forum is to end the propaganda and false projecting of the world of drugs on to the masses. What you are doing here is losing that objective out of sight and fall into the same trap as "the enemy". Inform people about the benifits and dangers, drugs and alchohol are definitly not all good. Propagating that everythings okay is the same fault.

    This is nothing personal, i'd like to start a discussion.
  7. Coconut
    I certainly don't see this happening. I've been all around the country over the past two years and I've noticed that some small towns can have up to ten pubs on their main street. Coupled with the massive number of bars and off-licences in major cities such as Dublin I see it as being unfeasible. Unless drunks all over the country conveniently begin committing suicide or going on murderous rampages en masse, it would be political suicide.
  8. Rightnow289
    I agree with the ban as well kind of. At the end of the day Alcohol is much worse a substance than many that are illegal. However it may end up with Alcohol becoming a banned substance and not the legalisation of other drugs and this would be a major step backwards
  9. Lunar Loops
    I have no problem with a ban on alcohol advertising (although I don't think that it will achieve their goal, we are quite literally steeped in alcohol culture here).

    My only quibble with the article was espousing a 'gateway drug' theory.
  10. Felix Guattari
    While I can see the rationale for banning alcohol advertisment, as robin pointed out, its unlikely to make much of a difference.

    Besides, has anyone ever seen an advertisment for 'alcohol'? What would it say? "Ethanol: fucks you up good... Now in beer flavour!".. It seems to me that 'alcohol ads' don't coerce and don't exist to coerce people drink, they're more like attempts to entice the individual already interpolated as 'joe sixpack' to spend his money on one brand over another; would bombarding a culture of teetotalers with images of Budweiser do jack shit? No. Alcohol culture has too deep of roots for any such a prohibition to have an effect. The fact that a blanket anti-alcohol PSA is an impossibility in the present climate should attest to this fact amply.

    Aren't the direct-to-consumer ads and websites juxtaposing images of prozac pills with footage of crowds of happy and racially diverse people running across fields and playing with puppies and kittens etc. far, far more insidious?
  11. Heretic.Ape.
    Moot point, when has anybody listened to psychologists?
  12. gmeziscool2354
    i really don't think its the act of drinking that the fanatics hate, its underage drinking. Apparently something changes the instant you turn 21/18. Like it really mattes.
    i am not a fan of fanatics at all.
  13. rollingplayhouse
    i hope this happens, simply to deal a blow to the alcohol companies that lobbys our government into making safe drugs illegal. f*** jack daniels and all his friends.
  14. discodave
    swim reacted that way (hate is a strong word, irritation and disappointment would be more apt) because they are sick and tired of the "nanny state" banning things. swim is well aware of how marketing works and resents the implication that psychologists should be making decisions for other people as they are not clever enough to make their own choices. sure there will be many people who don't know, but why is it correct to cater to the lowest common denominator?

    so in summary swim reacted with a hate reaction because swim thinks the state spends too much time finding things to say "no" to (with the implication people are too stupid to make their own decisions and the state knows better) and not enough time finding new, creative things to say "yes" to. and swim doesn't think this will have a major impact (of course it will have SOME impact), kids will still peer pressure each other to drink. the actual banning of alcohol advertising swim doesn't object to, it means nothing to swim either way.

    they probably think it will work a lot better than it will because of smoking and the way that was associated with sex, social status, etc then they banned that and piled on the negative pressure. sure it worked well, but the thing is most people who smoked wanted to stop when they knew it was bad for them. they generally didn't encourage others to start when they were past teenage years. most people who drink do not want to stop it.

    a much better thing for the psychologists to do if they want to attack alcohol is to make thier own adverts casting it in a negative context. they are doing some good ones in the uk right now with "you wouldn't start a night like this, so why end it that way?"
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