Experts call for football alcohol advertising restrictions

September 11, 2013
Experts call for football alcohol advertising restrictions

Newcastle University academics have called for the Government to consider restricting alcohol marketing during televised football matches after studying a selection of games and finding they were 'bombarded' by refereneces to drink.

In a paper published in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism and announced at a press conference at the British Science festival in Newcastle, the team describe their results. They found that on average there were 111.3 visual references to alcohol for every hour of football broadcast in the six games they looked at, nearly two every minute. This includes images on billboards at the side of the pitch and other references during replays or when scores were shown or substitutions were being made.

The total broadcast time for the six matches, shown on the BBC, ITV and Sky TV, was 18 hours and 21 minutes. During that time there were 2042 visual references to alcohol of various types, mainly beer. There were also 32 verbal mentions, mainly of match or competition sponsors and 17 adverts during the matches, from last season, including games in the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Cup and Championship.

Alcohol marketing and children

In the UK £202.5 million is spent every year on advertising alcohol, while over £800 million goes on marketing every year. Previous studies have shown that increases the likelihood that young people will start to use alcohol and will drink more if they already use it.

It has been found that 96% of all 13 years olds are aware of alcohol marketing and it has been suggested that 5.2 million 4-15 year olds were exposed to during the 2008 European Championship.

In the UK has been banned since 1989 and in 2003 it was made illegal for to sponsor sporting events. Alcohol advertising is self-regulated by the industry itself through a code of practice and the Advertising Standards Authority, but previous studies have highlighted the belief that self-regulation is not working. There are restrictions, such as not equating drinking with social or sexual success or promoting irresponsible behaviour but there are no legal powers of enforcement.

Dr Jean Adams, senior lecturer in at Newcastle University and a member of Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, said: "Alcohol–related hospital admission are continuing to rise, despite alcohol consumption falling overall because the heaviest drinkers are consuming more.

"This type of study has never been done before in the UK, looking at alcohol marketing during televised football matches. We wanted as broad a picture as possible, which is why we chose the matches from different broadcasters and from different competitions."

Need for restrictions

Andy Graham, speciality registrar in public health with the NHS, said: "Our findings show that young people are likely to be hugely exposed to alcohol marketing during televised football matches, and this is likely to have an influence on their attitudes to alcohol. We were surprised by just how many images there were during these games, it was a constant bombardment.

"We believe a similar restriction to that imposed on tobacco products may be justified."

Newcastle University is hosting the British Science Festival from 7-12 September, with Northumbria University and Newcastle City Council as associate partners. The Festival is one of Europe's largest and longest-running public science events and will provide Newcastle with a unique opportunity to showcase its impressive scientific and technological credentials to the world.

Explore further: Four alcohol brands dominate popular music mentions

Related Stories

Four alcohol brands dominate popular music mentions

August 28, 2013
Patron tequila, Hennessy cognac, Grey Goose vodka, and Jack Daniel's whiskey—accounted for more than half of alcohol brand mentions in the songs that mentioned alcohol use in Billboard's most popular song lists in 2009, ...

Toward evidence-based public policy for alcohol

July 19, 2013
Europeans are the world's heaviest drinkers. Per capita consumption is equivalent to each EU citizen aged 15 years or older drinking around 12 litres of pure alcohol per year, or just under three standard drinks per day in ...

Majority of states fail to address youth exposure to alcohol marketing

May 1, 2012
Reducing youth exposure to alcohol advertising and marketing is a missed opportunity for states to improve public health, according to a new review of state alcohol advertising laws from the Center on Alcohol Marketing and ...

Study finds beer industry's self-regulation ineffective at preventing advertising code violations

August 19, 2013
In an evaluation of beer advertising code regulations aimed to encourage responsible advertising practices, new research from the American Journal of Public Health finds that content violations still occur and the current ...

'As a matter of fact, I've got it now': Alcohol advertising and sport

February 27, 2013
Sport is generally a healthy activity that transmits important societal values, such as fairness, perseverance, and teamwork. Unfortunately, it's also the primary vehicle for marketing alcohol to the general population.

Time restrictions on TV advertisements ineffective in reducing youth exposure to alcohol ads

December 13, 2012
Efforts to reduce underage exposure to alcohol advertising by implementing time restrictions have not worked, according to new research from the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg ...

Recommended for you

Study finds medical cannabis is effective at reducing opioid addiction

November 17, 2017
A new study conducted by researchers at The University of New Mexico, involving medical cannabis and prescription opioid use among chronic pain patients, found a distinct connection between having the legal ability to use ...

Insomnia linked to alcohol-use frequency among early adolescents, says new psychology study

November 8, 2017
Insomnia is linked to frequency of alcohol use among early adolescents, according to new Rutgers University–Camden research.

Large declines seen in teen substance abuse, delinquency

October 25, 2017
More than a decade of data indicates teens have become far less likely to abuse alcohol, nicotine and illicit drugs, and they also are less likely to engage in delinquent behaviors, such as fighting and stealing, according ...

Trying to get sober? NIH offers tool to help find good care

October 3, 2017
The phone calls come—from fellow scientists and desperate strangers—with a single question for the alcohol chief at the National Institutes of Health: Where can my loved one find good care to get sober?

Medical students need training to prescribe medical marijuana

September 15, 2017
Although 29 states and the District of Columbia allow marijuana use for medical purposes, few medical students are being trained how to prescribe the drug. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis ...

Protein links alcohol abuse and changes in brain's reward center

September 8, 2017
When given access to alcohol, over time mice develop a pattern similar to what we would call "problem drinking" in people, but the brain mechanisms that drive this shift have been unclear. Now a team of UC San Francisco researchers ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.