Lees-Galloway had drafted a series of amendments to the Bill that he would put up when it came back to the debating chamber for a clause by clause debate, which was expected this month.
They included restricting alcohol advertising around schools, early childhood centres and at all but R18 films, and prohibiting advertising discounts.
Labour acknowledged many organisations relied on alcohol sponsorship, just as many once relied on tobacco sponsorship, he said.
“That is why I want to take this moderate approach to consider the viability of this option and to plan a smooth implementation should it go ahead.”
Lees-Galloway also wanted alcohol sponsorship phased out the same way tobacco sponsorship was phased out.
I’ll come to the amendments in a second, but I think banning alcohol sponsorship would be a draconian move, and unjustified.
THE PROPOSED CHANGES:
– Remove alcohol advertising on posters or billboards within 300m of schools and early childhood centres.
I don’t have a problem of removing within a fair distance of schools. ECEs is a bit over-board – I don’t think three year olds look at billboards much – and more practically an ECE can move about anywhere – unlike schools which tend to be in a fairly fixed location.
Remove alcohol advertising in cinemas unless the film screening is R18
This is an effective ban in all movies. When is the last time an R18 showed? I have some sympathy for the notion thought that one shouldn’t advertise in films targeted for kids. Maybe a lower threshold though?
Prohibit television advertising of alcohol before 9pm.
Prohibit using price in alcohol advertisements except in catalogues. Prohibit advertising discounts on alcohol, including in catalogues.
This one has some merit. Brand advertising I do not have a problem with, but advertising that promoted very cheap alcohol does cause issues. But one has to be careful how far you go. Making happy hour illegal can be taking things too far.
Establish a “Alcohol Advertising Reform Committee” with the health and justice ministries which would include the Health Promotion Agency.
Not sure we need a committee, but an issue with alcohol advertising is that the only penalty for breach of an ASA code on alcohol advertising is you have to pull the advertisement. This I think encourages some advertising which does breach the code. It is worth looking at having some sanctions for code breaches.