Ye ken noo

You may notice a consistent theme to this month's issue of Drinks Industry Ireland.

That’s because the alcohol distribution and retailing industry seems blithely indifferent to the effects that the Alcohol Bill will have on their respective livelihoods if made law. In our 1&1 interview ABFI Director Patricia Callan elucidates its likely effects on suppliers and trade.

Reinforcing her view, the EU Commission has now responded to the government’s Amendments, giving its views on the labelling and advertising proposals as detailed in our Cover Story.

‘Endangered Species’ builds awareness in the creative community around the threats posed by thoughtless legislation. In our Expert View piece, Disproportionate solutions,  its founder Ron Cregan gives us his take on the possible downstream effects of the Bill on the advertising and creative community.

This Bill – which has been downright objected to by a number of countries and which has concerned other bodies including the government agency advising the US President on trade policy – means business. Yours.

It’s unforeseen effects will decimate our alcohol export drive and will treat the vast majority of moderate drinkers as idiots.

In January Lithuania banned alcohol advertising. This led to the ludicrous situation where Lithuanian government press distributors sit for hours painstakingly covering every imported magazine ad for alcohol with red stickers. Our Bill’s limit on alcohol advertising in magazines not taking up more than 20% of advertising space looks to be next.

Or take the Bill’s globally unique labelling proposal described by the European Commission as “disproportionate”. It threatens our wonderfully diverse wines, spirits and beers selection. Many producers will give Ireland’s relatively small market the elbow over the excessively onerous labelling requirements. Irish-made alcohol products will be forced to comply yet will still have to compete in the global export market.

That’s why this Bill dominates this issue – because if you do nothing, it’ll be too late to change things later.

The Scots have a good way of putting this: when one of their countrymen died and was denied entry to the Pearly Gates, the Divinity showed him a long list of his misdemeanors on earth that had thus condemned him to an eternity of fire and brimstone.

“But Lord” protesteth the crestfallen Highlander, “I didny ken about a’ that, I just didny ken….”

— “…..Well ye ken noo!” came the celestial response.




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