Wednesday, 28 September 2016
Department of Health
220. To ask the Minister for Health the current members of the Alcohol Marketing Communications Monitoring Body; when this group last met; if and when he has met or corresponded with this group; when the group last published a report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27716/16]
222. To ask the Minister for Health the detail of the consultative panel who advise the Alcohol Marketing Communications Monitoring Body; the persons on the group; the frequency with which they meet with the AMCMB; the stakeholders represented on this panel; if his Department have any oversight on the composition of this panel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27724/16]
223. To ask the Minister for Health if any independent research has been commissioned by the Alcohol Marketing Communications Monitoring Body since its establishment; the research that has been commissioned in respect to adherence to and effectiveness of the provisions of the codes; the research and expenditure by his Department on this research for each of the years since the establishment of the AMCMB; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27728/16]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 220, 222 and 223 together.
The Alcohol Marketing Communications Monitoring Body (AMCMB) was established in 2005 to monitor the level of adherence to Alcohol Marketing, Communications and Sponsorship Codes of Practice. A revised Code of Practice on Alcohol Marketing, Communications and Sponsorship has been in place since July 2008. Following a Departmental review of the Codes in 2010 it was agreed that the existing Codes would remain while the Department examined the possibility of the providing a legislative basis for the Codes. The Steering Group Report on a National Substance Misuse Strategy, 2012 recommended the development of a statutory framework with respect to the volume, content, and placement of all alcohol advertising in all media in Ireland. Regulation of the advertising of alcohol products and sponsorship by alcohol companies is provided for in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill. The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill remains a priority for this Government. The Bill has been restored to the Seanad Order Paper and I expect that it will commence Committee Stage in October.
The AMCMB is comprised of representatives my Department and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, the advertising industry, and the drinks industry. The current members are: Mr Peter Cassells (Chair), Ms Alessandra Fantini, Dr Sean Denyer, Mr Michael O'Keeffe, Mr Ciaran Cunningham and Mr Ross McMathuna. The group meets on a quarterly basis and the last meeting was held on 23 August 2016. The AMCMB has submitted nine annual reports to the Minister for Health. The 7th Annual Report was the last annual report to be published on the Department of Health website.
The AMCMB monitors compliance with the Codes through a review of quarterly reports submitted by the advertising industry, review of complaints received examined by the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland and commissioned research. A number of companies have been commissioned by AMCMB to assess adherence to the Codes including Havas Media, BBN and Poster Audit Bureau. Companies have been commissioned to produce reports to allow the AMCMB to, inter alia, check compliance with the Code by televisions broadcasters, to survey sample films to assess compliance with the Code's provisions and to check compliance with outdoor media advertisers. Approximately €172,800 has been spent on commissioned research to date.