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Vintners want supermarket ads for cheap alcohol outlawed

They are calling on the proposals in the recently-announced Alcohol Bill to ‘become a reality as soon as possible’.

Image: Alcohol via Shutterstock

VINTNERS HAVE WELCOMED the government’s new alcohol bill, but say they want the proposals to be implemented as soon as possible.

The details of the Public Health (Alcohol) bill were announced earlier today and include plans for minimum pricing of alcohol and advertising restrictions.

The aim of the bill is to increase the price of alcohol which is cheap relative to its strength.

The moves were welcomed by the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI), which also said it welcomes the fact that the government “has finally detailed a commitment to tackling the issues surrounding the availability and irresponsible marketing of cheap alcohol, especially in supermarkets”.

In addition, it praised the government for beginning the process to address the harms associated with alcohol misuse “as a result of this irresponsible retailing approach”.

It has asked for clarification on the new statutory code on alcohol advertising in print media, singling out supermarkets, which it said “have been using price based advertising to promote cheap and discounted alcohol products”.

It has called for this to be outlawed.

It was happy with proposed measures such as the Minimum Unit Pricing for alcohol and what it called “the acceptance by government that supermarkets have been blatantly selling alcohol cheaply in order to drive footfall”.

However, it said it is concerned by the timelines outlined and the lack of firm detail at this stage. According to the VFI, the proposals need to be fast tracked.

The VFI also cautiously welcomed attempts to impose structural separation in mixed trading outlets. However, it is concerned at what it said was “the lack of political will” to enforce Section 9 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008, which focuses on the sale of alcohol being confined to a specific part of a licensed premises.

“The statutory code will only be as good as the level of enforcement,” said the organisation.

The VFI concluded by calling on the government to ensure that the proposals become a reality as soon as possible.

Read: Alcohol Bill: Government confirms plans for minimum pricing, advertising restrictions>

Read: Details on minimum pricing of alcohol to be published today>

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