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Government minister applauds drinks industry for its responsible online advertising

Published:  17 December, 2013

The drinks industry has been given a vote of confidence by the government for how it is handling the advertising of alcohol online.

Ed Vaizey, the government's minister for culture, communications and creative industries, has endorsed the drinks industry's ability to look after itself in how it treats alcohol online and through social media.

His position was laid out in a written answer to questions tabled in the House of Commons by Luciana Berger, Labour's shadow minister for public health.

In his response, Vaizey said: "The Advertising Standards Authority recently undertook a survey to find out what adverts young people see and engage with online, and whether those complied with UK advertising rules. Of the 427 ads seen by young people as part of the survey, three were for alcohol (i.e. less than 1%), and these adverts, whose content complied with the rules, were delivered to those children who had registered with a false age."

The findings have been welcomed by the advertising industry. Ian Twinn, director of public affairs at IBSA, that represents the interests of British advertisers, said: "Responsible advertisers in the UK follow the most robust rules in Europe to ensure that their alcoholic goods are seen by an age-appropriate audience. The survey to which Mr Vaizey alludes is evidence that self-regulation is working and that advertisers' are adhering to the rules."