New laws on alcohol advertising could cost media companies €20m a year, report says

RTÉ, TV3 and leading newspapers face a collapse in ad revenue, and job losses

Guinness ad supporting the hurling championship. A report found the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015 would cost the outdoor advertising industry €11m a year, broadcast media €7m, and print media €2m in ad revenue.

Proposed restrictions on the advertising of alcohol in Ireland could reduce the annual revenues of media companies here by €20 million a year and lead to more job losses in the sector, a report has found.

Commissioned by a group of media owners and authored by economist Jim Power, the report found that the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015 would cost the out-of-home media industry €11 million per annum, broadcast media €7 million, and print media €2 million in ad revenue.

"RTÉ, TV3 and Ireland's leading newspapers face a collapse in advertising revenue, which will lead to further job losses in the industry," the report states. "International research shows that advertising restrictions fail to combat harmful drinking, yet proposed measure have substantial negative impact on domestic media."

The Bill includes restrictions on the content of ads and the advertising of alcohol in certain public places, such as public parks, public service vehicles, train or bus stations, and near schools.


It would also be an offence for more than 20 per cent of advertising space in a publication to be allocated to alcohol products.

Mr Power said Irish media was already under “significant financial pressure” from declining ad revenue and the advent of digital media. “These pressures will be exacerbated by the new legislation, which will cost jobs and undermine the ability of the affected Irish media organisations to deliver high quality media content,” he said. The media sector, according to Mr Power, employs 10,231 people.

He added that latest data from the World Health Organisation showed that alcohol consumption was declining in Ireland.

The report was commissioned by a number of media owners, including NewsBrands Ireland, of which The Irish Times is a member.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times