ALCOHOL advertising could be banned from sports events, billboards and buses under plans being considered by the Scottish Government.

This comes in the same week that research from the University of Stirling revealed 6.4% of sponsorship in Scottish football is from the alcohol industry. 

A consultation on restricting alcohol advertising suggests banning sponsorship arrangements for clubs and organisations to create a more “family-friendly” environment. 

The National has spoken with two recovering alcoholics to better understand the impact advertising can have on those struggling with addiction. 

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Dave, 42, has been in recovery for seven years. He said: “I would say I can see how the alcohol advertising is being forced down people’s throats.

“I think it normalises drinking for kids. All these things that could trigger people are so widespread.”

The consultation has also considered limited advertising at major cultural events like music festivals, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Returning to the sponsorship in football, Dave added: “It’s the way it’s normalised in Scotland for me. If you look abroad, there’s more restrictions on it. 

“Alcohol is such an intrinsic part of Scottish life unfortunately that I think it’s just accepted here.”

Another option being considered is banning alcohol on sports merchandise, including on replica kits. 

Rebecca, 40, told The National she started drinking from a young age “without thinking anything of it” but the problem gradually became worse. 

She has had two stays in residential rehab and has now been in recovery for six and a half years.  

She explained: “I suppose the more you’re subjected to something, the more you think about it and the more likely you might be triggered to go back to it. 

“I think it has an impact on society as a whole because it’s everywhere.

“In an ideal world, we maybe just shouldn’t be able to promote it but I understand that isn’t going to happen.

“For me, we need to be more careful about what we are promoting.”

Alcohol adverts could also potentially be prohibited on pitch-side adverts as well as stopping players and manager from appearing in advertisements online or on TV. 

In response to the announcement on the consultation, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland Alison Douglas said: “We are constantly bombarded by alcohol marketing and it affects us all. 

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“Children and young people, and people in recovery are particularly affected.

"They tell us they see alcohol marketing everywhere and it prevents them being able to fully live and thrive in their communities.

“We are pleased to see that the Scottish Government have today published their consultation on introducing restrictions on alcohol marketing which covers a broad range of marketing tactics including sponsorship of sports and events, outdoor advertising, branded merchandise and how alcohol is sold in shops.

“This is an opportunity for us to be ambitious and to put people’s right to health before company profits by introducing restrictions.”

The Scottish Government did acknowledge in its consultation paper that a prohibition on alcohol sponsorship for events would be a “significant undertaking” and seeks views on how long a it would take to introduce. 

Research examining 34 football and rugby teams found 39% had a sponsorship relationship with an alcohol producer or distributor. 

Public health minister Maree Todd said: “There is clear evidence that adverts which glamorise drinking can encourage young people to drink alcohol and have a detrimental impact on those in recovery from problem alcohol use. 

“We are making progress already, with our minimum unit pricing reducing alcohol sales in the off-trade, but with 1245 alcohol-related deaths last year we know that more needs to be done if we are to tackle Scotland’s problematic relationship with alcohol.”

The consultation will close on March 9 next year.