PAHO marketing report
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A PAHO expert meeting recommends to consider comprehensive bans on alcohol marketing

PAHO Meeting on alcohol marketing

Consider comprehensive bans on alcohol marketing

An expert meeting on alcohol marketing was organized by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) last year and the report from the event released last month. One conclusion is that there is a growing need to protect vulnerable populations from the potential effects of inappropriate alcohol marketing. Governments should consider comprehensive bans on alcohol marketing.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) organized an expert meeting last year to review alcohol marketing regulations in the Americas and worldwide and to consider frameworks for assisting Member States. The meeting summarized research on the effects of alcohol marketing on young people; reviewed existing statutory and self-regulatory codes on marketing and examine their effectiveness; considered the implications of international trade agreements and other treaties for developing a global alcohol marketing code; and described the experience of countries where alcohol marketing legislation has been recently enacted or proposed.

During the meeting evidence presented showed that alcohol marketing promotes consumption among youth. A number of studies and systematic reviews point in this direction. In addition the alcohol industry finds novel ways to market its products, even when bans are imposed. Evidence from several countries indicates that industry self-regulation is not successful.

The meeting reviewed international instruments such as the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes as well as the regional recommendations on marketing foods and nonalcoholic beverages to children. Lessons to learn from these codes were considered. 

Drawing the report to a conclusion nine concepts for discussion was put to be considered by PAHO and the WHO governing bodies. These nine messages for considerations include that governments should protect vulnerable groups from exposure to alcohol marketing and should prioritize the passage of a comprehensive ban on alcohol marketing. The full list of key concepts for discussion is available in the report.