Small screen boozing debate

Healthier Futures ambassadors Greer Mulcahey-Banks, Andrew Taylor, Sasha Dorigo, Kim Barrett and Kerry-Ann Peachey
Healthier Futures ambassadors Greer Mulcahey-Banks, Andrew Taylor, Sasha Dorigo, Kim Barrett and Kerry-Ann Peachey

Families gave their views on advertising as a regional roadshow inspired by smash TV hit show Gogglebox rolled into the borough.

Healthier Futures asked parents for their views on how alcohol is marketed on the small screen at a special event in Leigh town centre.

Healthier Futures' chief executive Andrea Crossfield

Healthier Futures' chief executive Andrea Crossfield

Participants stepped inside a specially-adapted VW camper van and watched a series of adverts for different types of alcohol which would usually be aired during daytime hours and popular sports events.

They were then asked for their opinions on what they had watched and for their views on the issue of booze advertising in general.

The Manchester-based social enterprise took to the streets throughout October with the camper van pitching up in town centres across Greater Manchester.

The roadshow was organised after research suggested that children who see advertising for alcohol start drinking younger and end up with a heavier booze habit.

Healthier Futures says it is concerned half of all alcohol adverts are screened before 9pm and wants Greater Manchester’s 10 local authorities, including Wigan Council, to address the impact marketing has on young people.

Andrea Crossfield, chief executive of the Manchester-based social enterprise, said: “From a poll conducted last year we know that most people already agree a 9pm watershed, before which alcohol adverts could not be screened on TV, is a good idea.

“We wanted an opportunity to raise awareness of this issue and encourage conversation with the public about the issue.”

The borough has a difficult relationship with the bottle, posting some of the worst booze-related statistics.