Dáil Éireann - Volume 656 - 29 May, 2008

Written Answers. - Alcohol Advertising.

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health and Children when the 2007 report of the Alcohol Marketing Communications Monitoring Body will be published; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21692/08]

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health and Children when the revised voluntary code to limit the exposure of young people to alcoholic drink advertising will be published; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21693/08]

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health and Children the research and analysis she has undertaken in advance of revising the codes to limit the exposure of young people to alcoholic drink advertising and to determine the effectiveness of the current voluntary code; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21694/08]

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health and Children when she will implement the recommendations of the working group on tackling alcohol misuse in Sustaining Progress to include representatives of the social partners on the Alcohol Marketing Communications Monitoring Body. [21695/08]

  Deputy Mary Wallace: I propose to take Questions Nos. 73 to 76, inclusive, together.

The 2006 Annual Report of the Alcohol Marketing Communications Monitoring Body (AMCMB), established to monitor compliance with the voluntary codes, was submitted to my [122] Department in July 2007. The Monitoring Body concluded that although there had been a number of breaches of the code throughout 2006, there has been overall compliance with Voluntary Codes. The Monitoring Body were generally satisfied that where breaches were identified immediate remedial action was taken to rectify the situation and prevent recurrence. I expect to receive the 2007 Annual Report of the AMCMB in the coming weeks and I intend to have it published very shortly thereafter.

Following consideration of the 2006 Annual Report, officials from my Department commenced discussions with representatives of the Irish alcohol industry and representatives of the Irish advertising industry with a view to strengthening and expanding the codes on alcohol marketing and communications in order to provide significantly greater protection for children and young people. These discussions resulted in a revised set of Codes on advertising and sponsorship being drafted. Final drafting changes are currently being made to the revised Codes which are expected to be published before the end of June 2008.

The aim of the Codes on Advertising and Sponsorship is to limit the exposure of young people to alcohol advertising and marketing. My Department is satisfied that the Codes have been successful in controlling the content of alcohol advertising as well as controlling the timing and placing of alcohol advertisements. However, research is needed to establish how effective the Codes have been in limiting the exposure of young people to alcohol advertising and marketing. My Department intends commissioning appropriate research within the next 12 months to test the effectiveness of the Codes in achieving this aim. In monitoring the implementation of the revised Codes it is my Department’s intention to facilitate further representation and involvement from the social partners in the process of monitoring compliance with the Codes through the AMCMB.