The controversial Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 comes into force in November 2019. The Act makes significant changes to the advertising and marketing of alcohol products in Ireland.
Only certain provisions of the Act came into effect when it was passed last year, with the Act’s more controversial measures being introduced on a phased basis over a number of years. Two such measures, which will take effect from 12 November 2019, are the prohibition on alcohol advertising in certain places and the prohibition on advertising alcohol in cinemas.
- Prohibition of Advertising in certain place
From 12 November 2019, it will be against the law to display posters, billboards, hoarding, placards or other signage, whether temporary or permanent advertising alcohol products and/or to distribute free of charge alcohol related merchandise :
- in a park, on public transport, at a train or bus stop,
- in a school, crèche or playground or within 200 meters of a school, crèche or playground
This provision is likely to have a significant impact on outdoor promotional and marketing activity for alcohol products in Ireland.
- Prohibition on Advertising in Cinema
From 12 November 2019, alcohol advertisements in the cinema will also be banned, except in the case of films with an 18 classification or in a licensed premises in a cinema.
A breach of these provisions is a criminal offence which can attract substantial fines and imprisonment. Accordingly if you are engaging in any marketing or promotional activity for alcohol products you will need to be careful not to offend the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018.
By Laura Fannin, Partner, Hayes solicitors, Dublin