Staff Reporters
Mar 10, 2023

Three UK ad bodies call for rethink of Scottish alcohol ban proposal

In a rare move, the AA, ISBA and IPA have jointly denounced the plan.

Scotland's whisky tourism could be hit by the ban (Getty Images)
Scotland's whisky tourism could be hit by the ban (Getty Images)

The Advertising Association, ISBA and the IPA have issued a joint statement in response to the Scottish government’s proposals to ban alcohol advertising and marketing.

The statement (also issued alongside the Marketing Society Scotland, the British Promotional Merchandise Association, the Cinema Advertising Association and the UK Cinema Association, the Scottish Newspaper Society and Outsmart) rejects the plans, saying that there is “no evidence” to back claims that banning advertising will have any positive impact on any problems with alcohol consumption in Scotland.

Instead, the measures will be harmful to the country’s economy, directly and indirectly, affecting local communities, advertising, the creative industries and media, putting a number of jobs at risk.

“At the end of the day, we are talking about an impact on Scottish businesses, Scottish jobs and Scottish communities for no discernible benefit,” the statement reads.

“We call for a fundamental rethink of the proposals with a focus on targeted and practical policies that will facilitate behaviour change without damaging the Scottish economy and the advertising and creative industries that are important to the entrepreneurial Scotland that the Scottish government wants to see.”

The proposals were announced as part of a public consultation launched late last year and ending today (9 March), seeking to end what the Scottish government described as the country’s “deep, longstanding and troubled relationship with alcohol”.

The idea has met with plenty of controversy, with many Scots angry and anxious about the effect such a ban would potentially have on Scotland’s image abroad.


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