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Tom Brake Supports Campaign to Protect Children from Alcohol Promotion

December 17, 2007 11:12 PM

MP for Carshalton and Wallington Tom Brake is backing a Suzy Lamplugh Trust campaign to stop all alcohol advertising on television before the 9pm watershed by putting his name to a parliamentary Early Day Motion.

Tom said:

"We are trying to stop excessive alcohol consumption at the same time as we allow adverts to promote alcohol when millions of children are watching? The present regulations rate alcohol promotions as less damaging for children than swearing, which is ludicrous.

"There are now talks about banning junk food advertising before 9pm. We could be in the ridiculous position where we protect our children from the promotion of soft drinks whilst allowing alcohol drinks to be promoted to them!"

At present, alcohol can be promoted in cinemas before films rated for 15 year olds and even younger and television regulations only prohibit alcohol advertising around children's programmes. However 'children's programmes' are classified by the percentage of the audience who are children as opposed to the actual number of children watching. This means many family programmes, some of which have child audiences of a million or more, are still deemed suitable for alcohol advertising.

At the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, the personal safety charity which was instrumental in having the EDM tabled, they believe that regulations regarding the scheduling of alcohol advertising, as they stand at the moment, are putting the welfare of the alcohol industry before that of children.

Chief Executive of the Trust, Steven Gauge, says:

"We are delighted that Mr Brake is supporting the campaign to stop alcohol being promoted on television and in cinemas during family viewing times. Alcohol and drunkenness play a very significant role in people becoming victims of crime and almost 50% of all violent crimes involve alcohol. Yet as a society we have regulations that stop children from being exposed to scenes of sex, violence and swearing on television and in cinemas but not from alcohol promotions."

"There is no logic to protecting our children from hearing a few swear words but not from images which glamorise alcohol and its use. When was the last time someone was admitted to A & E on a Saturday night because they swore too much! "

Readers can support the campaign by visiting www.suzylamplugh.org and signing the online petition.

Tom added:

"When you sign the petition, an email will automatically be sent to me and although I have already signed the EDM, I welcome these emails as the more evidence I have of support for the campaign from constituents the stronger it makes my argument."

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