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A hollow pledge

Alcohol advertIn 2011, alcohol companies and retailers entered voluntarily pledged not to advertise their products on outdoor poster sites within 100m of schools.

The reason was due the link between exposure to alcohol marketing and the initiation of drinking amongst children and young people

Our investigation over the last year or so suggests that alcohol companies are not keeping to their promises. In Cardiff, we’ve found at least 10 breaches of the schools pledge. Heineken, Carling, Smirnoff, and others have all been seen

But that’s only half the issue. The bargain between the alcohol industry and the UK Government was that the industry would voluntarily agree to a set of pledges and so avoid tough, statutory requirements. But even if all the alcohol companies had upheld their part of the bargain, the actual pledge not to advertise outside schools is inadequate.

Alcohol advertising near schools - doc1revisedjpegThis is because the pledge only includes fixed outdoor poster sites, like billboards. It doesn’t include, alcohol posters on the front of stores, alcohol adverts on A-boards outside retail premises, nor displays of booze stacked up in supermarket windows.

Our investigation in Cardiff has found many examples of alcohol adverts and physical displays of alcohol in windows within 100m of schools. We also found alcohol advertising near other children’s spaces like playgrounds.

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