Bill to reduce underage drinking passes 1st Knesset reading

A bill that attempts to reduce underage drinking by restricting the use of celebrities to advertise alcohol passed its preliminary reading Wednesday, in spite of adamant protest by alcohol-related interest groups.
The bill, sponsored by MK Danny Danon (Likud) and co-sponsored by a number of other MKs, would mandate that advertisements for alcoholic products include only the name of the beverage, its symbol and its marketing name, as well as the name of the producer, their commercial symbols, the image of the product and places where it can be purchased.
Celebrities under the age of 40 would be prohibited from presenting the products for marketing purposes, as would be people wearing uniforms, athletic gear or bathing suits. The bill was based upon current restrictions placed upon cigarette advertisements. Also similar to cigarettes, Danon’s bill would require that advertisements include a warning label, as well on bottles of alcoholic beverages themselves, warning of the dangers involved in consuming such beverages.
“11-year-old children drinking vodka on New Year’s Eve is a direct result of crooked marketing attempts that portray alcohol consumption as a recipe for the good life,” said Danon. “If only the alcohol companies would value things other than their income, but unfortunately the legislators must get involved to place boundaries and to warn consumers of the dangers to their health.”
Although the bill passed Wednesday, it has powerful adversaries in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Commerce, which is trying to exclude from the law local boutique wineries and breweries.