Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has commenced section 19 of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 which introduces a restriction on the times which alcohol advertisements can be shown on radio and television.
Under Section 19, there can be no advertisement for an alcohol product on television from 3am – 9 pm and on radio on a weekday from 3pm – 10am the following morning. The purpose of the measure is to reduce the exposure of children and young people to advertisements for alcohol products. The provision will come into operation on 10 January 2025.
Minister Donnelly said, “the watershed periods for television and radio are designed to ensure that alcohol advertisements cannot be broadcast during times when children might be in the audience. The time periods were agreed in consultation with the then Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (now CnaM) during the development of the legislation. The evidence is consistent that advertising of alcohol products increases the likelihood that young people will start to drink alcohol or, if they are already drinking, to drink more.“
The Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Hildegarde Naughton said, “children and young people are being exposed to positive, risk-free images of alcohol and its use. Our objective is to protect children from this kind of marketing, and this broadcast watershed, along with the other advertising provisions in the Act, are designed to reduce that exposure.”
The Ministers both welcomed the commencement of the broadcast watershed for alcohol advertisements.