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Campaigners highlight ethics of alcohol product placement during Euros

Health campaigners are highlighting the inappropriateness of big alcohol brands sponsoring high profile sports events, such as the ongoing European Football Championships and exposing millions of under-18s to alcohol brands, at a time when alcohol-specific deaths have hit record levels, with rates particularly high in the North East.

Balance has questioned the ethics of deliberate product placement of Heineken beer branding in front of football stars and managers, like Paul Pogba, Joachim Low and Kalvin Phillips, during recent press conferences for the Euros.

It comes as research shows that exposure to alcohol sponsorship is associated with increased levels of alcohol consumption and risky drinking amongst schoolchildren, as well as sportspeople.[1] Sports sponsorship also exposes children to significant amounts of alcohol advertisement: almost a third of 11-19-year-olds in the UK recall seeing alcohol sponsorship for sports or events at least weekly, while one in twenty recall seeing alcohol sponsorship daily or almost daily.[2] Exposure is especially high during big sporting events broadcast on TV, such as the current European Football Championships.

The World Health Organization recommends restricting alcohol marketing as one of the most effective ways to reduce alcohol harm.[3] The majority of the public supports a ban on alcohol companies sponsoring sporting events.[4]

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