An unhealthy mix? Alcohol industry sponsorship of sport and cultural events
Sponsorship of sporting and cultural events by the alcohol industry is common practice and is part of an increasingly diverse marketing mix designed to attract new drinkers and increase sales in existing drinkers.
Alcohol is big business in the UK, estimated to be worth in excess of £41.6 billion a year, with more than £800 million spent annually on alcohol marketing. Sponsorships by the alcohol industry form a significant part of marketing and promotion practices and it has been reported that drinks companies were the second largest source of sponsorship funding in the UK between 2003 and 2006.
But there is an ongoing debate between the industry and publich health grops about the appropriateness of linking such events with the promotion of alcohol. Alcohol Concern argues that sponsorship and other forms of alcohol promotion and marketing normalise and, in many cases, glamorise the use of a damaging substance, and that tighter restrictions are urgently required.
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