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Alcohol Report Due Next Tuesday

The long awaited publication of the National Substance Misuse Strategy will finally take place next Tuesday.

As exclusively reported by last November, the report will recommend will the banning of outdoor advertising by drinks companies. It will also recommend banning the sponsorship by drinks companies of sporting and large outdoor events as well as greater restrictions on press, TV and online advertising. Other recommendations are likely to include an increase in the excise duties on certain alcohol products, the introduction of a minimum price per gram of alcohol.

The publication of the report is being eagerly awaited by the advertising industry and in particular the companies operating in the out-of-home space. It is believed that a total ban on outdoor advertising would have serious financial repercussions for many outdoor firms.

Alcohol advertising in Ireland amounts to around €44m a year while the sponsorship brings in another €10m.

While the Outdoor Media Association was keeping its powder dry until it sees the report, other sources in the outdoor industry are extremely concerned about any ban. "This will have a devastating impact on the outdoor business and jobs will be lost as a result," says one source.

Government sources stressed to that any recommendations made by the committee that drew up the National Substance Misuse Strategy would be taken very seriously and the Minister for Health, James O'Reilly, was fully committed to a tackling the perceived misuse of alcohol in Ireland "head-on" and that his Department would not be swayed by the various industry lobby groups that have been working behind the scenes for the past two years.


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