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Monday, December 04, 2006

It's Nine O'Clock Somewhere

The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) says it wants to protect kids. It's pushing the European Parliament to vote new anti-alcohol advertising standards in what is called the Audiovisual Directive, which sets up legal guidelines for television stations operating in the European Union. The laws cover a number of things, including television advertising, product placement and sponsorship rules.

So what is the EPHA pushing for that will protect youth from Ireland to the Balkins? A ban on advertising alcohol before 9 p.m. The group claims that studies show that young people enjoy and remember alocohol ads. By prohibiting them before 9 p.m., the EPHA believes most people under the legal age for purchasing alcohol will miss the ads. The group notes that alcohol ads show people having fun and do not show the social and health consequences of drinking.

A ban on ads could also have an impact on sponsorships of sporting events and other promotions. A number of major soccer teams in Europe have alcohol brands as sponsors. Uniform logos and stadium signage might come under the law for broadcast matches.

The EU is expected to take up the Audiovisual Directive during the next two weeks.

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