A philanthropic foundation has been blocked from running a hard-hitting anti- alcohol ad campaign.
The Tomar Trust said they were told by a media agency that their ‘Drink is a Drug’ campaign, earmarked for two high-profile billboards on the Naas Road, Dublin, was “too political”.
The campaign, to warn parents that alcohol consumption during teenage years causes lifelong brain damage, has previously run in print and outdoors.
The Cork-based trust, which has been helping to fund education, community, health and sports projects for young people for over two decades, said they have previously encountered opposition to their anti-drink campaign from some advertising and media agencies.
They have declined to identify those agencies.
Campaign spokesman Declan Bourke said society is not being served well here.
“Is it okay for our children to be exposed to messages glorifying drink and drawing positive associations with sport and aspirational living, but not to see an ad pointing out the dangers of underage drinking?” he asked.
Alcohol Action Ireland’s Eunan McKinney said children are unfairly exposed to a “tsunami of alcohol marketing” every day.
“No longer can we, as a society, accept that the alcohol industry can retain the principal role as the educators of our young on their relationship with alcohol,” said Mr McKinney.
He also pointed to delays in the implementation of key alcohol-focused elements of new public health laws.
Since November, the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 has banned alcohol advertising within 200m of a school and in cinemas, except for over-18 films.
But minimum-unit pricing, designed to curb the sale of cheap alcohol, has yet to be introduced.
Read more about the trust’s campaign at blindeye.ie