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Monday 25 September 2017

TV station rapped for exposing children to drink ads

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

THE 3e TV channel has been rapped for breaching the voluntary code limiting the exposure of young people to alcohol advertising.

Owned by TV3, the channel showed two alcohol advertisements in a half-hour period before 6pm which has an under-18s viewership of 28.2pc. The code, introduced in 2002, sets a maximum limit of 25pc.

The annual report of the Department of Health's monitoring body said the breach occurred "due to a misunderstanding of how the code applied".

Breaches in cinemas by Carlton Screen Advertising were also found where the under-18s audience profile was higher than it should be, according to the monitoring report covering 2011.

'Paranormal Activity', the 'New Three Days' and 'The Way' were the films involved.

The monitoring body also found two retail advertisements broadcast during "family breakfast time" on radio contained a reference to alcohol.

Billboards

And there was a breach of the code on outdoor advertising which confines alcohol advertisements to one display in any group of billboards.

Contractors Bravo placed two alcohol advertisements in one group of hoardings, but this was due to the failure to blank one old advertisement when displaying a new one.

Peter Cassells, chairman of the monitoring body, said it found overall compliance with the code. Where there were breaches, the body asked for immediate remedial action to be taken.

"In addition, from time to time, we reminded media players of the need to adhere to the spirit of the code," he added.

Meanwhile, despite long-running government promises to outlaw cheap alcohol and take other measures regarding sponsorship, concrete proposals have yet to emerge.

Alcohol is responsible for 88 deaths every month and is a factor in half of all suicide and self-harm cases. Every night 2,000 beds in Irish acute hospitals are occupied because of alcohol-related illnesses.

More than a year has passed since the publication of the report of a steering group that called for a legislative basis for minimum pricing, along with a "social responsibility" levy on the drinks industry.

It also wanted to introduce legislation to provide for a 9pm watershed for alcohol advertising on TV and radio. Such ads in cinemas should only be screened when films are classified as suitable for over-18s.

Irish Independent

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