Sport, children and alcohol

A chara, – As I watched the Ireland v Scotland match at the Rugby World Cup with my child, I could not help but be disappointed at the decision by the national broadcaster to air advertising for alcohol and gambling at such an early hour of the morning.

When faced with similar complaints in the past, RTÉ has pointed to the self-regulatory code that relates to the advertising of alcohol which states that, “alcohol advertising is not permitted unless the relevant medium has an adult audience profile of 75 per cent or greater”.

This is clearly a poor metric that does not stand up to scrutiny. It would appear to have been designed to provide the illusion of a duty of care while in practice allowing advertisers a convenient mechanism to shirk taking a greater social responsibility. As the population of Ireland is roughly made up of 25 per cent children, based on the metric in the code of conduct it would be permitted to advertise alcohol to the entire primary school population of Ireland, provided the remaining 75 per cent adult portion of the population also tuned in.

This metric takes no account of the actual number of children watching in the audience and is ineffective at providing real protection to the young people of Ireland.


It is time for the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland, RTÉ and others to do the maths and apply some real advertising standards. – Is mise,



Dublin 20.