A majority of Irish consumers do not think the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill should be introduced in its current form, according to a new poll from Independent Research Agency, iReach.
The poll, commissioned by the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI), found that Irish consumers are not in favour of a number of measures proposed in the Bill, including advertising restrictions.
As part of this survey, consumers were also asked if they believe the Government’s proposed measures - structural separation, advertising restrictions and health warnings on alcohol labels - are going too far, or are the best way to target alcohol misuse. The poll found that 47% believe the Government’s proposed measures are too strict, with just 27% saying they are the right thing to do.
This study was conducted as part of the iReach Consumer Omnibus Survey, with fieldwork undertaken from the 5th to the 11th of October 2017 with a sample size of over 1,000 interviews.
ABFI claims the Alcohol Bill will make Ireland one of the most restrictive countries in the world for marketing alcohol products. It will ban images of people, animals, scenic shots of Ireland and scenes in pubs from appearing in alcohol advertisements.
The Federation claims the iReach poll found that the majority of people (62%) are opposed to these restrictions, with only 17 per cent in favour of the measures. Furthermore, 72% of respondents said they don’t think these image-banning measures will reduce alcohol misuse, with just 12% believing they will work.
Speaking this week, Director of ABFI, Patricia Callan said, "While the drinks industry supports the objectives of the Bill - to tackle harmful and underage drinking in Ireland - we are concerned that certain proposals in the Bill are poorly targeted and are not based on evidence. This means that they are unlikely to actually reduce alcohol misuse."
She added, "Furthermore, these measures will have unintended negative consequences on jobs and businesses across the country, from grain to glass. It’s vital that the Government does not damage a thriving Irish industry when introducing legislation to achieve public health objectives."