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Academics call for curbs on alcohol advertising during televised football
NORTH-EAST academics have called for the Government to restrict alcohol marketing during televised football matches after finding they were 'bombarded' by references to drink during matches.
In a paper published today in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism and announced at a press conference at the British Science festival in Newcastle, the team describe their results.
They found that on average there were 111.3 visual references to alcohol for every hour of football broadcast in the six games they looked at, nearly two every minute.
This includes images on billboards at the side of the pitch and other references during replays or when scores were shown or substitutions were being made.
The total broadcast time for the six matches was 18 hours and 21 minutes. During that time there were 2042 visual references to alcohol of various types, mainly beer. There were also 32 verbal mentions, mainly of match or competition sponsors and 17 adverts during the matches, from last season.
In the UK, £202.5m is spent every year on advertising alcohol, while more than £800m goes on marketing every year. Previous studies have shown that alcohol marketing increases the likelihood that young people will start to use alcohol and will drink more if they already use it.
In the UK tobacco advertising has been banned since 1989 and in 2003 it was made illegal for tobacco companies to sponsor sporting events. Alcohol advertising is self-regulated by the industry itself.
Andy Graham, speciality registrar in public health with the NHS, said: "We were surprised by just how many images there were during these games, it was a constant bombardment.
"We believe a similar restriction to that imposed on tobacco products may be justified."
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