A new report claims the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill could cut advertising revenue at Irish media outlets by €20m.

The bill would address aspects such as minimum pricing, product labelling, and advertising.

The report was commissioned by a number of media companies including RTÉ and TV3.

The report's author, Economist Jim Power, said parts of the bill - which is working its way through the legislature - are to be welcomed, but he questioned whether the goals with relation to alcohol consumption based on advertising restrictions would be achieved.

"The international evidence wouldn't suggest the case is very strong," Mr Power stated. 

He also highlighted current pressures on media outlets. "Traditional media particularly is under very serious revenue pressures from competition, particularly digital online competition, to which these restrictions probably will not apply.

"If you take €20m out of €50m advertising revenue from the alcohol industry, it is going to leave a serious hole, and I think it's going to further exacerbate the already serious pressure on the Irish media sector."

Mr Power also said the current media model across the country is under sever pressure. "If you look at employment levels across print media, restructuring is an ongoing pressure because of the business reality facing the media industry. Of course media will have to react but I suspect the way it will react is just a continuation of a diminution of the size and the quality of the media product we get in this country."

Alcohol Action Ireland has challenged many of the observations in the report, saying they are "unnecessarily alarmist".

The organisation said the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill contains a range of measures designed to work cohesively to reduce alcohol consumption in Ireland so lessening alcohol related harms.

It added that, implemented together, they will provide a reasonable, pragmatic means to achieving the ambition of this progressive public health initiative.

The impact on total advertising revenues from the bill will be nominal, according to the organisation.

It cites recent advertising expenditure data from Nielsen (2016), that indicates total drink expenditure was €47m (exclusive of alcohol promotion by multiples).

Under the bill, drinks companies would still be allowed to advertise their brands, including an image of the product, an image or reference to its place of origin, its method of production, its price, its brand marque, its name, its logo, and a description of its flavour. 

Alcohol Action Ireland says: "The Bill does not propose to prohibit advertising of alcohol products. It contains a modest set of regulations principally on the content of advertisements that will limit the appeal of alcohol advertising, particularly to children."


MORNING BRIEFS - Asian shares have lost ground this morning after a weak session on Wall Street yesterday, while global sovereign debt yields have been elevated on bets the European Central Bank is moving closer to unwinding its massive monetary stimulus. Japan's Nikkei, Hong Kong's Hang Seng, and Australian stocks all fell. The prospect of the ECB turning off the flow of easy money has been a dominant global market theme since President Mario Draghi's hawkish comments last week. The pan-European STOXX 600 index, which measures the performance of large companies across 18 European countries, fell to an 11-week low yesterday, after the ECB's June meeting minutes showed the central bank opening the door to ending its long-standing bond buying programme.

*** At least four insurance brokerages in Ireland were included in Tuesday's raids on sector bodies by officials from the Europen Commission, according to the Irish Times today. The report says this included the Dublin offices of global insurance brokers Marsh and Aon, as well as the headquarters of Campion Insurance in Dublin, and the Wexford-based Wright Insurance Brokers. The paper says it understands that haulage insurance lies at the centre of the EU's probe, which is investigating alleged price fixing relating to motor premiums. Motor insurance premiums have risen by up to 70% in the last three years.

***  Tech giant Samsung has estimated a record second quarter operating profit, propelled by a memory chip boom. The global memory chip leader said its April-to-June operating profit is likely to be around 14 trillion won (€10.6 billion). Revenue likely rose 18% from a year earlier, also a quarterly record, and well ahead of analysts' forecast. The actual second quarter results will be published later in the month. Another profit driver for Samsung has also emerged in the form of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays. Samsung has a stranglehold on the market for the bendy, next-generation screens which are widely expected to be used for its rival Apple's latest iPhones, due out by October.