Distilled Spirits Council urges NY mayor to lift alcohol ad ban

Trade body the Distilled Spirits Council is urging the New York mayor to lift the city-wide ban on alcohol advertising in an open letter.

New York mayor Bill de Blasio announced an executive order on 30 April banning alcohol advertising on all New York property with immediate effect, including bus stops, newsstands, phone booths, wifi Link NYC kiosks and recycling kiosks.

In an open letter to de Blasio, the Distilled Spirits Council president Chris Swonger wrote: “We urge you to lift the ban on alcohol advertisements based on decades of scientific research that show that alcohol advertising does not cause someone to begin drinking or to abuse alcohol,” said Swonger.

“This is also supported by real world evidence in New York, where underage drinking has declined by more than 35% over the last 10 years and binge drinking is at an all-time low. Alcohol use disorders among New York adults are also at historic lows, according to federal data.”

Swonger also added that since 2012, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago, Washington, DC, and Boston have all abolished their alcohol advertising bans on public transit with each city facing “no negative effects”.

He also said that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has reviewed alcohol advertising on numerous occasions and has determined that it is directed at adults. The FTC also said the industry’s self-regulatory measures are “rigorous and effective”

“We urge you to reconsider your ban on alcohol advertising on city property,” wrote Swonger. “Advertising bans simply divert attention from solutions that work to combat alcohol abuse and underage drinking.

“On behalf of the distilled spirits industry, we stand ready to work with New York City’s government leaders and stakeholders to continue progress in reducing underage drinking.”

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Author: Nicola Carruthers {authorlink}