Login problems? click here
Forgot password? click here
Create new account click here

Anti-alcohol lobby calls for ban on drinks advertising at stadia

The Zurich branch of the Swiss anti-alcohol lobby, known as the Blue Cross, wants to ban the advertising of alcoholic drinks at sports stadia and other sporting events, primarily to protect young people. To this end, they launched a cantonal campaign on Tuesday.
"Sport and alcohol just do not go together," said Stephan Kunz, head of the Blue Cross in the canton of Zurich. He feels it is unethical to link the beneficial effects of sport with alcohol. It is at football and ice-hockey games in particular that beer advertising features strongly.
"We are not killjoys," said Kunz, who realises that a beer and a sausage are part of the enjoyment of going to a football match. "And we do not want to ban alcohol itself at sporting events but we do not feel it is right that alcoholic drinks should be advertised." It is widely known that the alcoholic drinks industry, and breweries in particular, invest hundreds of millions of francs in advertising and sport sponsoring.
There is already a ban on advertising spirits at stadia and sporting events in Switzerland and if this campaign were successful it would mean a total ban on adverting of alcoholic drinks in the canton.
As for the Blue Cross, this is just the beginning as in the long term it wants to ban the advertising of alcohol at sporting events throughout Switzerland, hoping that a successful campaign in Zurich will have a chain reaction on the rest of the country. Now its supporters are out and about collecting the 6,000 signatures necessary.
The Swiss Ice-Hockey League (SEHV) has reacted with alarm to the possible ban on the advertising of alcohol. "This would have a very negative impact on us," said Lukas Hammer, spokesman of the SEHV, "as many clubs have breweries as sponsors and it would not be so easy to find others, which would lead to clubs having financial problems." He also feels there are more effective ways of preventing young people from drinking (too much) alcohol.
The Swiss Football League has reacted in the same way. Its spokesman, Philipp Guggisberg, said, "It is questionable as to whether such a ban would be effective and there are many grey areas, too. For example, what would happen if FC Sion, who are sponsored by a wine merchant, played here? Are they supposed to have two sets of shirts, one without the sponsor's logo?"

Share |