Lifestyle Economics

Alcohol ad bans proven to not reduce drinking

Joseph Dinnage writes for CapX

IEA Press and Digital Officer Joseph Dinnage has written for CapX explaining how bans on alcohol advertisement are unlikely to create any public health benefit. 

Joseph wrote:

“This is the central conclusion of a paper published last week by the Institute of Economic Affairs. ‘Alcohol Advertising: What does the evidence show?’, examines the empirical evidence surrounding the popular public health theory that banning alcohol advertising will decrease overall consumption. Predictably, the nanny-statists’ kneejerk desire to prohibit does not stack up against the facts.

“A Cochrane Review from 2014, widely considered the gold standard of evidence-based policy research, found that there is ‘currently a lack of evidence for or against recommending the implementation of alcohol advertising restrictions‘. This is reflected in the numbers. Despite alcohol advertising in Britain falling by 10.8% between 1991 and 2001, consumption rose by 15.8%.

“If politicians want to get serious about tackling alcohol-related harm, market distortions and blanket bans are not the answer – and pretending that they are will only perpetuate the difficulties that problem drinkers face. As with any group, treating drinkers as a homogenous bloc is misleading and disregards the vast fluctuation in levels of use and associated social issues.”

You can read the full article here.