WEEKLY ALCOHOL ISSUES
June 14, 2021 – June 20, 2021
Alcohol issues from our Policy Newsfeed cover:
- Women’s alcohol use in USA catching up to men’s level with dire consequences,
- Alcohol fueling the rise in road traffic accidents in USA,
- Alcohol deaths in Switzerland,
- The scope of cancer risk awareness in reducing alcohol use,
- Olympic organizers in Tokyo, Japan considering on having an alcohol-free athletes village,
- The decline of alcohol use in Greece during lockdown, and
- Malaysia declaring alcohol as “non-essential” during lockdown.
Alcohol issues from our Science Digest cover:
- One study exploring alcohol harm including alcohol related disease and deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, and
- A large-scale research study on alcohol consumption trends in Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alcohol issues from our Big Alcohol Watch exposes this week:
- The $17.5 Billion sales revenue the alcohol industry makes by selling alcohol to children.
Our Special Event Alert highlights:
- The Third Forum on Alcohol, other Drugs, and Addictive Behaviors (FADAB3), organized by the World Health Organization.
This week’s Special Feature explores: Alcohol advertising in sports.
As the European Football Championships have gotten underway, alcohol sports sponsorship has again come under scrutiny. This Special Feature No. 24 is dedicated to explore the wider issues of Big Alcohol exploiting sports, elite athletes and pushing alcohol on everyone, including children, through sponsorship and brand promotions. The alcohol industry is glamorizing ill-health and causing harm.
Alcohol Policy News
Latest Science Digest
Big Alcohol Watch
Special Feature – No. 24
Alcohol Advertising in Sports
Big Alcohol is exploiting sports stars, pushing alcohol on everyone, including children, and glamorizing ill-health
Recently, marketing of unhealthy products has come under intense scrutiny and pressure during the UEFA European Championships (EURO 2020) through actions of players that indicated they do not want to be associated with brands such as Heineken and Coca Cola.
But alcohol advertising, sponsorship and promotions in professional sports has a long track record of causing harm, exposing children to alcohol brands and drawing criticism for the use of sports to promote the products and practices of the alcohol industry.
This Special Feature No. 24 is dedicated to explore the issues of Big Alcohol exploiting sports, elite athletes and pushing alcohol on everyone, including children, through sports sponsorship. The alcohol industry is glamorizing ill-health and causing harm.
Big Alcohol pushing their products on players, children, everyone through elite sports
Paul Pogba’s tiny move of rebellion against Big Alcohol and the UEFA pushing alcohol on everyone, all the time revealed how pervasive and insidious alcohol marketing in sports has become.
The actions of Mr Pogba and Cristiano Ronaldo, who removed Coke bottles, are small and symbolic and yet meaningful gestures exposing the harmful alcohol norm and highlighting that football should be alcohol-free.
Heineken and Big Alcohol in general should be removed from sports. Millions of children are exposed to alcohol promotions. Even the arena in Munich where the match between France and Germany took place was alcohol-free – due to COVID-19 counter measures.
Many football players live free from alcohol themselves – for many different reasons. And Big Alcohol pushing their products on players, fans, children and into all spaces they can find is a threat to their health and well-being.
That’s what the actions of football star players, such as Paul Pogba, have brought into focus again.
Other star football players have previously taken similar actions against alcohol marketing in sports. Such as when German professional football player Shkodran Mustafi removed a beer bottle from his La Liga press conference in 2015 or when Ivorian Yaya Toure forfeited his man of the match champagne on religious grounds in the 2012 Premier League.
Alcohol marketing in sports, a global problem
Alcohol marketing in sports is a worldwide problem and is seen not just in football but many major professional sports including (but not limited to) rugby, tennis, hokey and racing.
Maik Dünnbier explores how professional sports today is a major source of promoting unhealthy products in his blog post “Professional Sports Glamorizing Ill-Health”. Two stories from USA and Australia expose how professional sports clubs, events and star players are used by the alcohol industry to market alcohol products to everyone, including children.
Guest expert, Tungamirai Zimonte discusses the case of Botswana giving way to alcohol industry pressure and allowing alcohol sponsorship in sports. While sports bodies in Botswana celebrated this move, Tunga makes the case that this is ultimately a losing match, putting Botswana’s children and youth in harm’s way.
Scientific research calls to ban alcohol marketing in sports
In a WHO Bulletin research paper published in February 2019, leading researchers analyze the role sports play in promoting alcohol and other health harmful industries. The researchers suggest that alcohol and junk food promotion should be banned from sports, like how tobacco is banned. One study found that exposing people to an alcohol brand, and more strongly to a mainstream alcohol brand, such as done in alcohol marketing in sports, leads to more positive attitudes towards alcohol more generally.
Case study: AB InBev and sports marketing
Anheuser-Busch InBev is the world’s largest beer producer, controlling every third bottle of beer sold in the world. AB InBev keeps making headlines with gigantic investments in alcohol promotions during major sports events, like the Fifa World Cup, the Super Bowl and other tournaments with global viewerships. This aggressive investment in brand promotion must be understood in direct connection to the beer giant’s performance on the stock markets and its ability to make shareholders happy. This opinion piece exposes how it works.
The Alcohol Issues Podcast – Special Episode 20
Welcome to the Alcohol Issues Podcast and our 20th episode – another Special Episode as host Maik Dünnbier welcomes Kristina Sperkova back on the podcast. She is the International President of Movendi International.
In this special episode, host Maik Dünnbier talks with Kristina about key insights and the most important lessons that were discussed during the event.
Kristina reflects on the analysis that each of the speakers shared and what she thinks the highlights were. More than a year into the global pandemic, we aimed to take stock of global and regional experiences and knowledge around alcohol and the coronavirus crisis.