Sunderland shoppers shown banned booze ad

Elaine Wheldon (left) and Stephanie Rowley of Balance with their hard - hitting video which highlights the use of alcohol advertising and it's effect on youngsters. They are hoping to get the message across from their stand in the Bridges, sunderland.
Elaine Wheldon (left) and Stephanie Rowley of Balance with their hard - hitting video which highlights the use of alcohol advertising and it's effect on youngsters. They are hoping to get the message across from their stand in the Bridges, sunderland.
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SHOPPERS at The Bridges got the chance to see a health advert which was banned from TV.

As part of North East alcohol office Balance’s campaign to highlight the negative effect that alcohol advertising is having on children,

The advert was banned after regulators said it contravened the Communications Act 2003, because Balance wanted to use the broadcast to encourage people to sign a petition.

The petition calls for regulations to:

* Prevent alcohol ads from targeting children and young people.

* Prevent alcohol ads from being shown on TV and in the cinema for under-18 films.

* Prevent alcohol ads from being shown through social networking sites.

* Prevent alcohol sponsorship of sporting and youth events.

Colin Shevills, director at Balance, said: “We don’t object to the ruling in principle.

“However, it seems unfair that an advert which seeks to inform people and protect public health and the lives of our children is deemed unfit for broadcast.

“The alcohol industry routinely flaunts the rules by making drinkers appear popular and attractive – something which it is not supposed to be able to do.

“Instead of censoring our advert to make it acceptable to Clearcast, we’re broadcasting it online and taking it to the streets.

“This means we can show people the real dangers of alcohol advertising and voice the concerns of parents, families and communities in the region.

“It also means we can encourage more people to sign our petition and show Government that more must be done to protect young people.”

The petition, which calls on the Government to introduce more meaningful regulations to stop the alcohol industry reaching children and young people through advertising, now has more than 1,000 signatures.

Colin said: “We have already received a great deal of support – but we still need more people to back the campaign and make sure our voices are heard.

“Alcohol is damaging the lives and futures of our children and young people.

“Our children are brought up in a world where drinking at an early age and consuming large quantities is viewed as ‘normal’ or ‘acceptable’ and alcohol advertising plays a central role in this.

“We need to stop the alcohol industry from recruiting its next generation of drinkers and exposing young people to £800million worth of marketing a year.”

For more details on the campaign, go to www.balancenortheast.co.uk.