Jan 11, 2010 at 02:16 PM
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Sponsorship Association Rejects UK Health Committee Claims

The European Sponsorship Association has spoken out against a U.K. Health Committee Report on Alcohol, which proposes stringent new regulations on sponsorship by alcohol brands.

The Committee last week proposed that no event should be sponsored if more than 10% of those attending are under 18 years of age.

In a statement released Friday, ESA rejects this proposition on two grounds (1) the 10% threshold is wholly unworkable; (2) the 10% figure is unsupported by any evidence that this will have any positive effect on reducing alcohol-related harm.

"The alcohol industry already works to a voluntary 25% rule, in accordance with the Portman Group Code of Practice. ESA has seen no evidence to suggest that this self-regulation guidance is not working," the ESA statement reads.

Further, the ESA says that the principal focus of the committee's study was football sponsorship, to the exclusion of other sports and events like arts and culture which also rely upon alcohol sponsorship.

"ESA recognises that the issue of alcohol-related harm is significant and serious. However, there is no evidence to support a causal link between alcohol sponsorship and alcohol related harm. ESA strongly believes that education and sales / packaging / availability are the key issues, rather than sponsorship."