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Scottish alcohol advertising ban threatens small indie breweries

Small Scottish breweries are under threat from the Scottish government’s plans to restrict alcohol advertising and promotion.

The Scottish ban, which could put an end to beer festivals, tap takeovers and meet-the-brewer events as well as stop small breweries from selling and advertising their beer online or via their webshops, is set to have a detrimental impact on the sector.

If the ban is passed, small Scottish breweries could also be prevented from raising much-needed funds for charities, local good causes as well as supporting grassroots sports clubs.

The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), which has highlighted how if the Scottish government’s proposals are implemented in full, will stifle small producers, has also illustrated how the move will lead to fewer direct and indirect jobs in the supply chains which support them and harming Scotland’s international reputation for quality drinks producers.

Historically, SIBA and its members have been long-time supporters of responsible drinking initiatives and campaigns, but is now at risk of being penalised by the new measures.

In its submission to the consultation which closed this week, SIBA outlined its support for measures that target the harmful use of alcohol where there is clear evidence that it does so. However, the trade body also outlined how the proposals run counter to the Scottish government’s stated strategy to see Scotland’s food and drink industry to continue growing and bringing benefits including jobs, wealth and international renown.

SIBA chief executive Andy Slee said: “Scotland’s small independent breweries are renowned for producing some of the most innovative and exciting beers which are enjoyed the world over by responsible drinkers. They are at the heart of their local communities, supporting local pubs and shops. This is now under threat by the Scottish government’s radical and extensive proposed ban on promotions and advertising.”

Slee added: “These ideas come at a time when the sector is facing threats from every direction including the onerous Deposit Return Scheme and a cost of living crisis. Small breweries need greater support, not more barriers to trade.”

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