The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill is likely to cost the media industry €20 million per year, according to a report entitled ‘The Potential Impact on Irish Media of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015’ which was commissioned by media owners of Ireland.
The advertising restrictions included in the Bill are estimated 'to cost the out of home media industry €11 million per annum, broadcast media €7 million and print media €2 million per annum in terms of advertising revenues forgone'.
Author of the report, economist Jim Power said, “Irish media is already under significant financial pressure from declining advertising revenues and the advent of digital media. These pressures will be exacerbated by the new legislation – which will cost jobs and undermine the ability of the affected Irish media organisations to deliver high quality media content.”
The Bill reportedly plans to remove Irish pub scenes and any images of people drinking alcohol from advertisements.
It is believed that this will be detrimental to advertising revenues, consequently threatening employment in the industry.
Patricia Callan, Director of ABFI, suspects there is 'no causal link' between advertising and alcohol use. She states, “this comprehensive study highlights the enormous impact the Bill will have on the media industry in Ireland without any conclusive evidence that the measures proposed will tackle alcohol misuse. It is yet another example of the unintended consequences of this deeply flawed Bill”.
In order to justify her disapproval, Callan went on to state numerous statistics on alcohol use in Ireland and advertising.
She states that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), alcohol consumption has fallen by 25% in Ireland since 2005.
Reports also show that 60% of 12-17 year olds use a device other than a TV to access media content.
This is a key statistic, as the bill is also aimed at lowering alcohol use amongst that age group.
Callan concluded, “The drinks industry is advocating for existing codes to be put on a statutory footing, with significant penalties for breaches. This could be implemented within a much shorter timeframe and without jeopardising the advertising sector, in addition to the hospitality sector which employs over 200,000 people around the country”.
© 2017 - Checkout Magazine by Patrick Lewers