The Scottish Government and Alcohol Advertising
what do you think?
Since BrewDog is supposedly responsible for the downfall of Western civilisation you can't blame us for wanting to keep an eye on what the real forces of evil are up to.
With that in mind, we're keen to stay up to date with alcohol legislation in Scotland, the UK and beyond and what better place to do so than the home of our good friend Jack Law - Alcohol Focus Scotland.
It's here we stumbled across an article on Scotland's First Youth Commission on Alcohol; a year long investigation that – amongst other recommendations – is now calling for a ban on alcohol advertisements in public in a bid to curb alcohol abuse and binge drinking.
We're well aware that the Commission was put together with good intentions but banning alcohol advertising in public places just doesn't seem to add up to us. Furthermore this is coming from a company which does not and will never do any form of advertising whatsoever.
Fair enough glamourising alcohol and imbuing it with connotations of sex and success might give the easily led a sense of false hope, not to mention false advertising, but we don't believe a black out on adverts will make a great deal of difference and help Scotland solve it's alcohol problems.
Simply put - just because you can't see the contents of mummy and daddy's drinks cabinet doesn't mean you don't know it exists or will ever take an interest in it.
Take illicit substances as another example, they aren't advertised on billboards, they don't get their own commercials and they certainly aren't a freebie given away with your Sunday newspaper.
Despite this, the total economic and social costs of problem drug use in Scotland are estimated at around £2.6bn a year. The cost of alcohol is in the region of £3.5bn a year. That's not a huge difference given the former gets not as nearly as much coverage, advertising and supermarket shelf space as the latter.
Fair enough, this isn't an issue that's ever going to be clear cut but would banning alcohol advertisements and ushering booze out of the public eye altogether really make Scots think differently or curb binge drinking?
Surely the way to address the situation is not to reduce people's contact with alcohol but instead to challenge their perceptions of drink and its purpose to allow them to make more informed decisions when they do.
Lets broaden horizons rather than restrict them; an ethos that will always be inherent to the craft beer movement.
What are your thoughts? We want to start a debate on this issue and hear what the readers of the BrewDog blog have to say, so get stuck into that comments box. stat!
Oh and where is J.S Mill when you need him?