Restrictions on alcohol advertisements set to commence


Advertisements for alcohol are set to be restricted on television and radio. 

The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly will introduce a restriction on the times at which alcohol ads can be broadcast. 

This commencement comes under section 19 of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018.

Under this Act, there can be no adverts for any alcohol product on the television from 3am – 9pm, and on the radio on a weekday from 3pm – 10am. 

The reasons behind bringing in these restrictions is to reduce the exposure of advertisements for alcohol products to children and young people. 

This new watershed will come into operation on January 10, 2025.

Speaking about the restriction of alcohol adverts, Minister Donnelly said, “The watershed periods for television and radio are designed to ensure that alcohol advertisements cannot be broadcast during times when children might be in the audience”.

“The time periods were agreed in consultation with the then Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (now CnaM) during the development of the legislation”.

The Minister continued, “The evidence is consistent that advertising of alcohol products increases the likelihood that young people will start to drink alcohol or, if they are already drinking, to drink more”.

Hildegarde Naughton, The Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, also spoke on the matter to explain, “Children and young people are being exposed to positive, risk-free images of alcohol and its use”.

“Our objective is to protect children from this kind of marketing, and this broadcast watershed, along with the other advertising provisions in the Act, are designed to reduce that exposure”.

This comes after Stephen Donnelly signed the Public Health (Alcohol) (Labelling) Regulations 2023 and the remaining provisions of Section 12 of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act into law. 

This means that comprehensive health labelling of alcohol products sold in Ireland will be introduced. 

The law, which will be applied on May 22, 2026, says that the labels of alcohol products will state the calorie content and grams of alcohol in the product, as well as warn consumers about the risk of consuming alcohol when pregnant. There will also be a warning of the risk of liver disease and fatal cancers from alcohol consumption.