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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 March, 2005, 17:38 GMT
Alcohol and sex link ban for ads
Drinkers in nightclub
Alcohol should not be promoted as leading to sexual success
TV advertisers are to be banned from portraying alcohol as an "aid to seduction" or showing it alongside themes strongly appealing to under 18s.

The Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) has launched a consultation on guidelines for the new rules, due to be enforced from October.

Advertisements should also avoid suggesting alcohol could enhance attractiveness, say the Ofcom rules.

But showing "mild flirtation" and romance would be acceptable.

The rules came into force on 1 January but the guidelines for advertisers are being consulted on before they are enforced.

BCAP is also consulting on a second new set of rules about the use of health and dietary claims in both TV and radio adverts selling alcohol.

The first set of rules will stop adverts from showing alcohol having a positive role in sexual relationships.


"Alcohol could not be shown being used as an aid to seduction or enhancing a person's attractiveness," said the BCAP guidance.

They should also refrain from making links to sexual motive or include sexual contact, and ads should not imply that sexual activity has taken place or is about to take place.

Any which contain themes likely to draw in the under 18s will also be forbidden.

Themes include using personalities with strong youth appeal such as pop, TV or sports stars, teenage rebelliousness, and music and dance likely to appeal to that age group.

The second set of rules are designed to crack down on health and dietary claims being made by advertisers promoting alcohol.

It should not be suggested that an alcoholic drink could be a source of nourishment or suitable as part of a fitness or weight control regime, said BCAP, which writes the industry codes of practice that are policed by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Television rules

Broadcasting regulator Ofcom will have final approval of the rules once both consultations finish in April and June.

BCAP chairman Andrew Brown said all interested parties would get a chance to speak before the rules were enforced.

Codes of conduct across all media already prohibit the promotion of irresponsible consumption of alcohol.

The codes also ban advertisements which appeal to young people or link alcohol to "sexual and social success", but the new tighter rules have been devised specifically for television.

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