It is likely that over the coming years a major battleground of the anti-alcohol campaign will be potential restrictions on alcohol advertising and promotion. However, there is no convincing evidence that alcohol advertising either increases consumption or encourages young people to start drinking, as this excellent article from Basham and Luik explains.
Based on the empirical evidence, it is clear that the public health establishment’s claims about the effects of alcohol advertising are incorrect. Indeed, the weight of the evidence substantially argues against its assertions about alcohol advertising initiating drinking and increasing consumption and alcohol-related harm. Consequently, there is no public policy justification for measures to restrict or completely ban alcohol advertising that is directed to legal consumers.Drinking alcohol is so closely interweaved into Western European society that even a total ban would be unlikely to make much difference to consumption patterns. Indeed, as they suggest, by making it seem a forbidden fruit and discouraging brand identification, bans on advertising and promotion could even serve to increase consumption.