The new rule is part of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act: which was enacted in 2018 to address high levels and harmful patterns of alcohol consumption.
“One of the primary objectives of the Act is to delay the initiation of alcohol consumption by children and young people,” said a government spokesperson.
“Evidence is consistent that advertising of alcohol products increases the likelihood young people will start to drink alcohol or, if they are already drinking, to drink more.”
Section 19 of the 2018 Act restricts the hours permitted for advertising alcohol products on television and radio. The Broadcast Watershed provision aims to reduce children and young peoples’ exposure to advertisements for alcohol products. The section prohibits alcohol advertising during times when children are likely to be in the audience.
Under section 19, there can be no advertisement for an alcohol product on television from 3am to 9pm. The provision will come into operation on 10 January 2025.
The Public Health (Alcohol) Act introduces a suite of measures designed to reduce alcohol consumption and health harms. This covers minimum unit pricing, the regulation of advertising and sponsorship and the display of products in mixed retail outlets and health labeling.
The country has already announced it will be the first to introduce comprehensive warning labels on alcohol, with new rules due to come into effect in 2026. Labels must warn people of the danger of alcohol consumption; the danger of drinking when pregnant; and the link between alcohol and cancer.
Products must also contain information such as the quantity of alcohol and number of calories.