Anti-drinking billboard taken down for being 'too political'
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Anti-drinking billboard taken down for being 'too political'

AN ANTI-DRINK campaign has been refused space on high-profile billboards after it was deemed to be too political.

The initiative, 'Drink is a Drug', by the Cork-based TOMAR trust aims to encourage parents to delay the age at which young people start to drink alcohol, and to raise awareness of the dangers and risks associated with drinking.

Their aim is to "counter the glorification of alcohol".

The campaign has been used in print and in outdoor displays previously, but a media agency said that the campaign was a form of political advertising, and banned it from particularly high-profile spots in Dublin.

Campaign spokesperson Declan Bourke argued against the decision saying: "Is it ok for our children to be exposed to messages glorifying drink and drawing positive associations with sport and aspirational living, but not to see an ad pointing out the dangers of underage drinking?

"Society is not being served well here.

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"This is the second time elements of the advertising community have refused to communicate this message."

Eunan McKinney of Alcohol Action Ireland added: "Every day our children are unfairly exposed to a tsunami of alcohol marketing – it’s present on every phone, in every high street and every home.

"No longer can we, as a society, accept that the alcohol industry can retain the principal role as the educators of our young on their relationship with alcohol.

"Meantime, significant measures within legislation passed by the Oireachtas, such as those to control the content of future alcohol adverts and ridding the marketplace of impotent voluntary advertising codes, remain dormant."