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Scotland: Law Society makes u-turn on alcohol branding concerns

Scotland: Law Society makes u-turn on alcohol branding concerns


Scottish Legal

October 28, 2015

Following the Law Society of Scotland’s warnings that parents wearing alcohol-branded clothing could fall foul of laws intended to curb alcohol advertising, it has now backtracked and said it was “wrong” to make such claims.


Under the Alcohol Bill, restrictions would be imposed on advertising alcohol in the vicinity of schools, nurseries and children’s play areas.


In its written submission the Law Society had said: “In terms of section 6 (3) of the Bill, ‘advertisement’ means any word, letter, image, mark, light, model, placard, board, notice, screen, awning, blind, flag, device, representation container or package in the nature of, and employed wholly or partly for the purpose of, advertisement or promotion and ‘alcohol advertisement’ means an advertisement promoting alcohol.


“Given this wide definition it would appear in our view that an offence would be committed e.g. where a poster referring to a sporting event sponsored by a drinks company was displayed within the window of a private dwelling house in a restricted area or if a parent or guardian wears a football or rugby jersey with an alcohol sponsor when collecting children from school.


“This provision accordingly runs the risk of not just affecting persons with an interest in advertising but also, unknowingly, members of the public.”


But, speaking to the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee, Archie MacIver from the Law Society, told MSPs they “could draw a line through” the written evidence.


Mr MacIver said:”There is one aspect I think I should correct because it is, in my view, on reflection, wrong.


“We did cite examples of someone wearing a football jersey turning up at school gates.


“I accept that is not a fixed place so perhaps members could draw a line through that one.


“Unless you have got a very lazy parent who is standing there for days on end.”