Ireland: Doctors Demand Ban on Alcohol Sponsorship of Sports

IrelandHeinekenIn Ireland, a group of doctors is demanding a ban on alcohol sponsorships of sporting events, warning that alcohol companies are “grooming child drinkers.” Dr. William Flannery of the College Psychiatrists of Ireland (CPI) presented to the Oireachtas Transportat and Communications Committee about the link between alcohol sponsorship and the early onset of alcohol abuse, as well as the resulting myriad of alcohol-related complications. And yet, according to Dr. Flannery, sporting bodies are “in the pocket” of the alcohol industry, despite there being “no product on the planet that could cause more harm.” The CPI is calling for a total ban on alcohol sponsorship in sports. For more on the dangers of alcohol marketing and youth, click here.

Urban Outfitters Corporate Prescription to Harm Youth

Urban Outfitters is known for selling controversial merchandise. But its latest product line has ventured into a new realm: a series of medical-themed drinking products that includes prescription shot glasses, pint glasses, and syringe shot-shooters. A sleeve designed to hold a can of beer resembles a prescription medicine bottle, with the following content listed on the Rx label:

Drug name: Beer.

Quantity: As much as you can stomach.

Instructions: Take one can by mouth. Repeat until intoxicated.

Refills: Sure!

Shot glasses with a big Rx logo on the front repeat these same instructions.

Many individuals and groups are upset about a teen-focused company selling products with prescription drug imagery, and rightfully so. But there is an important, and glaring, additional danger with Urban Outfitters' new line that must be called to the forefront as well. These products are not only promoting, normalizing, and downright giggling about youth using prescription drugs. By using shot and pint glasses and other alcohol products labeled with prescription language, they are promoting alcohol as the self-prescribed drug of choice.

Urban Outfitters claims that its target customer is between the ages of 18 and 30 - a demographic that contains both underage youth, for whom the supposed "directions" for using the alcohol paraphernalia are illegal, and young people who by definition are at higher risk for drinking, drinking more, and experiencing alcohol-related harm. These products promote drinking as not only cool and normal behavior for youth, but also a legitimate anecdote to one’s problems. The prescription beer can sleeve labeled “Liquid Happiness 12oz” tells youth directly that alcohol should be consumed in order to feel good.

Guess we shouldn't be too surprised by this latest atrocity, when another Urban Outfitters product is a flask that screams F- MY LIVER.


Finland Plans to Ban Alcohol Advertising in Public Places

In a proposal to be sent to parliament in the spring, the Finnish government is planning to ban all alcohol advertisement on public places in order to reduce youth exposure to alcohol promotion. The decision comes shortly after the government took action to reduce cigarette visibility by banning ads and requiring that cigarette products be kept under the counter or behind closed doors where children can't see them. While the new proposal will remove all alcohol advertisement from public places like bus stops and billboards, alcohol sponsorship of sports games and concerts will still be allowed. However, marketing based on consumer participation, such as competitions and lotteries, will become illegal. To read more on the dangers of out-of-home alcohol advertising, click here. For our guide to effective regulation of out-of-home alcohol advertising, click here.


Pennsylvania House Passes Liquor Privatization Bill

PAStateBoardThe Pennsylvania House of Representatives recently took a dangerous step toward privatizing the sale of wine and spirits, voting 105-90 to approve a measure which would gradually sell off state-held liquor licenses to private entrepreneurs. All but five Republicans backed the HB 790, and all 85 Democrats opposed it. Should the bill pass the Senate, Pennsylvania's 600+ state run liquor stores would close, and the state would lose at least $80 million annually. What’s worse, Pennsylvanians would pay the price in increased societal costs and alcohol-related harm. The state Senate will hold its first hearing on the bill on Tuesday, April 30.