A BID to ban a North-East TV advertisement linking alcohol with an increased risk of developing cancer has failed.

Balance, the North-East alcohol office, fought back against sections of the drinks industry which complained that its TV advertisement highlighting the link between alcohol and cancer was misleading and irresponsible.

After considering the evidence the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled today that the Balance advertisement was not in breach of the UK code of broadcast advertising (BCAP) after complaints were received from, amongst others, the British Beer and Pub Association.

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The Balance advertisement featured a man in a kitchen preparing a meal. As he began, he took a beer out of the fridge, poured it into a glass and took a sip.

At the bottom of the glass was a small tumour which began to grow as the man took more sips of beer from his glass. As the man took the final sips of beer from the glass, the tumour was seen sliding down the glass towards his mouth.

In its response to the ASA, Balance outlined the existing research on the links between alcohol and cancer, and also highlighted that the organisation had worked closely with medical experts during the development of the campaign.

Research shows that alcohol is responsible for around 12,500 cases of cancer each year in the UK, with hospital admissions for alcohol-related cancers increasing by 28 per cent in the last 10 years.

The World Health Organisation categorises alcohol as a group one carcinogen, the same as tobacco. Colin Shevills, director of Balance, said: “We are delighted at the ASA’s decision – this is a real victory for the health community.”