Trade condemns New York alcohol advertising ban

The Distilled Spirits Council has condemned New York mayor Bill de Blasio’s “misguided” decision to ban alcohol advertising across the city.

The mayor announced an executive order yesterday (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.

Venues with alcohol licenses, such as restaurants, stadiums and concert venues, are exempt from the ban.

“There’s no doubt that far too many New Yorkers struggle with serious substance misuse issues, among them excessive drinking,” the mayor said. “This order banning alcohol ads from city property reaffirms our commitment to health equity and our stand to protect the well-being of all New Yorkers.”

However, the Distilled Spirits Council argued the effectiveness of the ban was unsupported by scientific research.

It also highlighted how other cities have moved in the opposite direction and repealed alcohol advertising bans. In 2018, Baltimore City – which was the first city to outlaw outdoor alcohol advertising in 1994 – joined several cities in bringing down bans on alcohol advertising.

Since 2012, Charlotte, Chicago, Washington DC and Boston have all repealed their public transport alcohol advertising bans.

Jay Hibbard, Distilled Spirits council vice president, said: “The mayor’s decision to ban alcohol advertising is misguided and unsupported by the scientific research.

“The research is clear – parents and other adults are the most influential factors in a youth’s decision whether or not to drink alcohol, not advertising.

“In fact, in New York underage drinking has declined by more than 35% over the last 10 years and binge drinking is at an all-time low.

“The nation’s distillers are committed to responsible advertising and have a proven history of successful self-regulation through our industry’s Code of Responsible Practices. The FTC, the lead federal agency charged with consumer protection, has repeatedly reaffirmed the spirits industry’s advertising practices.”

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Author: Melita Kiely {authorlink}