Restricting alcohol advertising and promotion - consultation response

In March 2023, the Scottish Government called for views on their proposed restrictions to alcohol advertising and promotion in Scotland. In our response, we highlighted the ways in which alcohol is harmful to children and young people and stated that we are supportive of policies that will work to eradicate these harms in Scotland. Read a short summary of our response and recommendations, or download our full submission.

Our response

This was a wide-ranging consultation that considered restrictions in various spaces and locations. Considering our areas of expertise, the RCPCH Scotland response focussed on the ways in which alcohol is harmful to children and young people’s health and on how the approaches outlined in the consultation may improve their wellbeing. 

Our recommendations

  • We emphasised that current regulations are insufficient to discourage children and young people from being exposed to or consuming alcohol. We stated that RCPCH Scotland are in support of an approach which will encompass all marketing and promotional channels that children and young people may be exposed to.
  • We recommended that the impacts of the proposals be closely monitored for their effectiveness. RCPCH believe that a public health campaign in conjunction with the advertising restrictions would be more effective in reducing the numbers of children and young people drinking alcohol or being exposed to other alcohol-related harms.
  • We drew attention to the importance of education to highlight dangers of alcohol. In our State of Child Health 2020, we called for universal drug and alcohol education. We asked UK Governments to ensure all schools adopt comprehensive, up-to-date, evidence-based approaches to drug and alcohol education, which incorporate peer-led learning and are in line with NICE guidance. 
  • We highlighted the importance of keeping children and young people’s views at the heart of any proposed changes to alcohol marketing and promotion in Scotland.

We respond to a wide range of consultations to ensure that the College’s position, and ultimately children’s health, is represented. Members can get involved in current consultations by contacting us at: