A study has found that alcohol marketing was seen by soccer fans almost once a minute during the England and Wales group stage matches of Euro 2016.
During broadcasts of the five group matches played by the two countries — including the game between them that ended in a 2-1 victory for England — pitch-side adverts for the tournament’s sponsor, Carlsberg, appeared 392 times, according to a research by UK charity Alcohol Concern.
This equated to an alcohol-related advert being shown an average 78.4 times per game, or once every 72 seconds.
“The volume of alcohol marketing in sport, especially in football, which is popular with children and younger people, is enormous,” the charity’s director of campaigns Tom Smith said in a press release on Monday.
“Alcohol marketing drives consumption, particularly in under-18s and sport should be something which inspires active participation and good health, not more drinking,” Smith warned.
Figures showed that over 14 million people watched England’s opening match with Russia while at least 9 million watched England’s showdown with Wales alive.
The charity estimated that 14 percent of the audience were likely under the age of 18. Some schools across Wales arranged screenings for pupils for the England-Wales “derby game.”
“We need to protect the younger generation, which is why the government needs to implement the phased removal of alcohol marketing from sport, as it has done with tobacco,” Smith said.
French laws ban alcohol brands from sponsoring sporting events and advertising on television, but the charity said the beer company replaced their brand name on pitch-side digital boards with one of their well-known slogans and used their usual brand font.
A spokesman for Carlsberg responded by saying the company took great care to make sure the vast majority of viewers of the marketing were above the legal drinking age.
“Our internal and industry codes clearly stipulate that our marketing communication are designed to prevent any primarily underage appeal,” the spokesman added.