Researchers Call For Tighter Restrictions On TV Alcohol Marketing During Football Matches
Researchers have called for much tighter government restrictions or even a ban on the marketing of alcohol during televised football matches, "arguing that the messages are seen by and affect millions of children," according to Alok Jha of the London GUARDIAN. Their research suggests that "football fans see around two references to alcoholic brands every minute when they watch a match on TV" -- in addition to the formal advertising during commercial breaks. Public health specialist Andy Graham, who is working for the National Health Service, said, "The average spend on alcohol marketing in the U.K. was around £800M ($1.3B) and yet only £200M ($316M) was spent on traditional advertising, in terms of commercials. It's this ambient marketing that goes on -- the viral campaigns, the social media and the sponsorship -- which has more of an impact." In the football study, "Graham watched more than 18 hours of football matches that had been shown on the BBC, ITV and Sky." Graham noted every mention or view of an alcohol brand on screen, "whether in the commentary, on billboards at the side of the pitch, on-screen logos before and after replays or when scores were shown or substitutions were being made." The results, published on Wednesday in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism, "showed that in the six matches studied, there were 2,042 visual references to alcohol of various types, mostly beer." That "was in addition to 32 verbal mentions of sponsors" (primarily Carling in reference to the Carling Cup) and 17 adverts during the matches (GUARDIAN, 9/11).