Banned Aldi Christmas advert for alcohol ‘would not have made it through Ireland’s strict alcohol advertising clearance system’

Friday, 23 February 2018

Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI), the representative body for drinks manufacturers and suppliers in Ireland, has reiterated the strength of Ireland’s alcohol advertising rules after an Aldi Christmas advert for alcohol, featuring the computer-animated Kevin the Carrot, was banned in the UK for inappropriately appealing to children. ABFI says that the advert, which was televised in the UK last Christmas, would not have made it through Ireland’s extremely strict alcohol advertising clearance system that screens all advertisements to ensure they do not appeal to young people.

Patricia Callan, Director of ABFI said:

“Ireland has some of the strictest placement and advertising content codes in the world for advertising alcohol. All advertising copy is sent for pre-clearance to CopyClear, an agency that ensures it fully complies with the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland’s codes. This process is unique to Ireland, as no other market puts its alcohol advertising through such rigorous scrutiny. Among other things, it means that no alcohol advertising can appeal directly to young people.

“This system has been in place since 2003 and works. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), alcohol consumption in Ireland has fallen by 25 per cent since 2005.

“Despite these strict codes, the Government is attempting to introduce proposals in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill that would severely restrict the content and placement of alcohol advertising. For example, advertisements would not be able to contain images of people or a suggestion of a storyline. These restrictions would hugely damage the drinks industry, particularly small players and new entrants to the market, as they wouldn’t be able to effectively advertise their products to consumers. Additionally, we’d question the need for such measures given the efficacy of Ireland’s current system.”