The Scottish government is considering a ban of branded clothing and other merchandise featuring images or messages about alcohol.
It is carrying out consultation on its full review of advertising and promotion of alcohol in Scotland, including a specific proposal to ban the use of alcohol brands on promotional clothing as well as in sports and music festival sponsorships.
The UK’s marketing and advertising industry is contributing to the consultation, which concludes in March, including submissions from the Advertising Association which has set up a working group that includes the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA).
In its consultation document, the Scottish government states: “One way we could seek to reduce the visibility of alcohol brands would be to prohibit the sale or distribution of alcohol-branded merchandise including T-shirts, jackets and baseball caps as well as branded glasses and mugs.
“These increase brand visibility and have more permanence than alcohol adverts on TV or on billboards. They are often re-used over time within our homes or, in the case of clothing, can become walking billboards in themselves.”
It gives the example of T-shirts branded with the Guinness logo and imagery which, along with polo shirts and sweatshirts, are best-selling decorated garments via the Guinness Webstore.
The consultation document cites a survey of over 3,000 young people aged 11 to 19 years old in the UK which found that 17% reported owning alcohol-branded merchandise. The survey, published in the BMJ Journal, claimed that people who owned alcohol-branded merchandise were almost twice as likely to be susceptible to drinking compared with those who did not.