Blackpool proposes alcohol advertising ban outside pubs

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Alcohol advertising, Domestic violence, Proposal

Blackpool councillors: 'Alcohol advertising helps encourage an acceptance of drinking'
Blackpool councillors: 'Alcohol advertising helps encourage an acceptance of drinking'
Pubs, clubs and off-licences in Blackpool could be forced to remove alcohol advertising after the council proposed the ban in a bid to tackle alcohol-related health problems.

If the by-law is introduced, all licensed outlets in the town would be banned from advertising alcohol on the exterior of their premises.

The council is already considering introducing an early morning restriction order (EMRO), which would ban alcohol sales after 3am in parts of the town centre.

'Acceptance of drinking'

At a scrutiny committee meeting earlier this month, councillors said they had concerns that alcohol advertising helps “encourage an acceptance of drinking” and the harms caused by alcohol consumption are “disguised by the constant positive images of alcohol and drinking behaviour”, particularly for young people.

They also highlighted statistics from 2012 which showed that public bodies spent more than £100m tackling the “negative and social ramifications” of alcohol consumption, more than other cities in the North West including Manchester and higher than the national average.

'Detrimental impact'

Councillor Sarah Riding, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Looking at the introduction of a restriction on alcohol advertising is one of many ways that we are working to reduce the effect that alcohol has on the town and its residents.

“We know that alcohol can have a big effect on mortality rates, domestic violence and crime, and it’s an issue that we are working to address head on through a number of methods.

“We want people to enjoy visiting the town, and accept that having a drink is part of that, however we do need to stop the detrimental impact that it can have on many people’s domestic lives as well.

“To ignore those problems would not be fair to the residents whose lives are ruined by alcohol.”

'Ridiculous'

However, Dave Daly, manager of the Castle Hotel pub and north-west chairman of Licensees Unite, said the proposal was a “ridiculous, knee-jerk reaction”.

“They’re just playing politics – it has only been proposed to make is seem as if they’re doing something,” he said.

“It’s another niggle at the night-time economy and we cannot let them keep battering us about like this.

“They want to be the first to introduce an EMRO, then the first to ban alcohol advertising. Next they’ll want to be the first to introduce minimum pricing. It’s relentless.”

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