Alcohol marketing is widespread in the Americas, with modern marketing techniques that go beyond traditional print and electronic media advertisements to include branded merchandise, sponsorships of sporting teams and events, discount pricing, social media, and sales or supply at educational or health establishments.
Studies have found that the more young people are exposed to alcohol marketing, the more likely they are to start drinking earlier, and to drink more if they are already drinking. The harmful use of alcohol is one of the four most common preventable risk factors for major noncommunicable diseases and an important risk factor for violence and injury. It also has an impact on other health conditions including HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, as well as on economic and social development.
Two key PAHO publications and a special supplement of the journal Addiction summarize the evidence, provide examples and propose ways countries can strictly regulate alcohol marketing, when a total ban is not achievable.
Background on alcohol marketing regulation and monitoring for the protection of public healthOverview:
This document provides evidence for arguments supporting alcohol marketing regulation, and suggests key elements that can be considered by countries in planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating effective regulation. It also provides legislative language that can assist governments in developing or modifying existing laws and implementing monitoring mechanisms. It complements a Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) report from an exploratory meeting on alcohol regulation held in January 2015 and is firmly based in the Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful use of Alcohol of the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as the subsequent PAHO Regional Plan of Action. The first draft was produced by PAHO technical staff and presented at a meeting held in July 2016, with experts and representatives from selected Member States. The final document was extensively revised by PAHO staff after the meeting, following suggestions made by participants.
PAHO Meeting on Alcohol Marketing Regulation. Final Report.
Monitoring and regulating marketing of alcoholic beverages is one of the biggest challenge areas in alcohol public policy. Alcohol marketing regulation has been adopted by WHO as one of the three "best buys" for cost-effective policies to prevent and control the harmful use of alcohol as a risk factor for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Regulations must be coherent, strategic, and adaptable,and all related regulatory bodies and processes must be independent of the alcohol industry, given the commercial interests that often conflict with those of public health.
The report synthesizes the discussions and conclussions agreed on an exploratory international meeting convened by the Pan American Health Organization on 12-13 January 2015, with the participation of more than 30 experts on tobacco control, food and nonalcoholic beverages, trade agreements and health policy, as well as staff from NGOs, country offices and WHO headquartes.
The Regulation of Alcohol Marketing: From Research to Public Health Policy
Supplement of Addiction, published on January 2017.
Using a broad public health perspective to describe the issues surrounding the marketing of alcoholic beverages, the papers in this Supplement provide a wealth of information to support renewed action by governments to control alcohol marketing with statutory measures, independent of the alcohol industry's self-regulatory programs, implemented and monitored by governments and/or civil society organizations with a primary interest in public health and the prevention of alcohol problems. To the extent that remedial action is needed urgently, the way forward is described clearly in the concluding paper to this Supplement.
Access to the Supplement in the following link..