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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Go . . . Europe Seeks to Curb Its Drinking Problem

Rising unemployment, austerity, shrinking growth: it’s enough to drive you to drink.

Legislators and activists appear determined, however, to divert Europeans from seeking refuge from hard times in the bottle.

But differences have emerged over the role of taxation and pricing in curbing a perceived booze scourge in the continent, and doubts remain about the ability of the alcoholic beverage industry to police its own behavior.

As European Union officials prepare to review a common alcohol strategy for the entire 27-nation alliance, the region’s major beer, wine and spirits producers agreed this week to a tougher self-regulatory regime to govern alcohol advertising.

The main target of the measure is to prevent young people being lured into drinking by unsuitable advertising, including on social media sites. Ads would only be able to be placed in media where at least 70 percent of the audience is “reasonably expected to be above legal purchase age,” according to the agreement. > > > > Read More