WHO highlights dangers of alcohol marketing techniques on young people

WHO highlights dangers of alcohol marketing techniques on young people Credit: Creative Commons

A new report by the World Health Organisation was issued on Tuesday, May, 10, highlighting concerns for alcohol marketing techniques.

“Reducing the harm from alcohol by regulating cross-border alcohol marketing, advertising and promotion” is the first report from WHO to speak on quite how much alcohol marketing is affecting young and heavy drinkers, as reported by WHO.

The report states:

“Worldwide, 3 million people die each year as a result of harmful use of alcohol representing about 5% of all deaths. A disproportionate number of these alcohol related deaths occur among younger people, with 13.5% of all deaths among those who are 20 to 39 years of age being alcohol-related.”

“Alcohol robs young people, their families and societies of their lives and potential,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.”

“Yet despite the clear risks to health, controls on the marketing of alcohol are much weaker than for other psychoactive products. Better, well enforced and more consistent regulation of alcohol marketing would both save and improve young lives across the world.”

“One data source quoted in the report calculated that over 70% of media spending of leading alcohol marketers based in the USA in 2019 was through promotions, product placement and online advertisements in social media.”

“The rising importance of digital media means that alcohol marketing has become increasingly cross-border”, stated Dag Rekve of the Alcohol, Drugs and Addictive Behaviours Unit at the World Health Organization. “This makes it more difficult for countries that are regulating alcohol marketing to effectively control it in their jurisdictions. More collaboration between countries in this area is needed.”

“While many countries have some form of restrictions on alcohol marketing in place, generally they tend to be relatively weak. In a WHO 2018 study, it was found that, while most countries have some form of regulation for alcohol marketing in traditional media, almost half have no regulation in place for Internet (48%) and social media (47%) marketing of alcohol.”

“The report concludes that national governments need to integrate comprehensive restrictions or bans of alcohol marketing, including its cross-border aspects, in public health strategies.”

“It highlights key features and options for the regulation of cross-border marketing of alcohol and stresses the need for strong collaboration between states in this area.”


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Written by

Joshua Manning

Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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