Hey, let's stop advertising alcohol to kids

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What, more stories about intoxicating substances? Yep, but this time we're moving onto something some group of "important" blokes decided was OK, even good, for society and the individual. Alcohol. Sure, it's not a drug, it's a drink but it still mashes people's minds up in a more detrimental way than the average illegal substance; as generally agreed by even the top boffins at the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and the Medical Research Council.

The Government has recently updated its alcohol strategy. To summarise: use the laws that exist to deal with alcohol-fuelled crime, focus on harmful drinkers and shape the environment to promote sensible drinking. Luckily the Portman Group, a group of drinks manufacturers trying to put a veneer of responsibility on their corporate shenanigans, pre-empted their announcements with the inspirationally progressive announcement that they would no longer market their deadly wares directly to little children.

Maybe this is a little harsh to be fair, but really the Poorhouse has a bit of a problem with kid-targetted marketing anyway, let alone having massive Carlsberg et al. type logos taking pride of place on those "cute" little children's football shirts. The kids probably already want to emulate the bad drunken behaviour of their generally massively over-valued football stars already, so why compound it by making them walking bill-boards for it too? It's amazing that in this era of (mostly…there are always some loopholes available for those who like driving fast cars for instance) banned tobacco adverts and controversy over showing fatty-food adverts during children's TV and of course irrationally punitive and harmful disincentives on those drugs deemed illegal that you even still can market goods to 5 year olds promoting alcohol.

Professor Gilmore agrees, and goes further to call for a total ban on alcohol advertising. The Poorhouse considers this a potentially sensible option in a society that does seem to have quite an alcohol issue, especially within fields such as sport where a connection could be made by the naïve that excellent athletics is a result of boozing. It's like an even less laughable version of McDonalds-type establishments sponsoring sports.

One should note that there is evidence both ways as to whether advertising increases individual use or not (one potential explanation given here) but the Poorhouse prefers to use the precautionary principle here. Certainly if the tobacco ad ban is deemed to be a sensible thing by our great masters, it is hard to see that a similar booze advertising ban wouldn't be. The Poorhouse is however more than happy to learn why the two things are so different if anyone can explain.

In the mean time mind you could just forget about faffing around having drinks and instead nosh down on the apparently mostly unregulated, possibly dangerous caffeine, taurine, D-Glucoronolactone and guarana stacked Red Rush chocolate bar. Think Red Bull, but more hardcore, shoved into a choccy treat. Apparently it makes kids psychotic, perhaps.


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