Music events may face beer sponsorship ban

Advisers target brewers sponsoring gigs and festivals

Government advisers are calling for a total ban on alcohol advertising at music events.

As part of a major crackdown on binge drinking among young people, The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has lodged a series of proposals which aim to outlaw alcohol promotion on TV, the Internet and in most cinemas.

The body also wants to slap a ban on brewers sponsoring music festivals and concerts.

The move comes after advisers blamed irresponsible advertising and poor education for a surge in binge drinking, particularly among young women.

According to the panel, between a fifth and a quarter of 15-year-olds are regular smokers, half drink alcohol at least once a week and nearly a quarter have used illegal drugs in the past month.

It also claims that the “industry spends about £200 million annually on promoting a very misleading picture of the realities of alcohol consumption”, reports The Metro.

But T In The Park sponsor InBev said a ban would make little difference and accused the ACMD of grabbing headlines.

It said many cultural events in the UK would not happen “if drinks companies didn’t provide funding”, reports BBC NEWS.

The Portman Group, which represents the drinks industry, also questioned the measures and argued that alcohol consumption had stabilised among the under-18s and young women.

A spokewoman for the Department of Media, Culture and Sport said the Government currently has no plans to impose government restrictions on alcohol advertising.

She added: “We agree alcohol companies should take a responsible approach when they sponsor music events. But many of them rely on sponsorship from these companies for events like T In Park. Where would be without it? Carling Academies alone support live music and they promote new talent at a grass roots level.”