PROPOSALS to restrict the advertising of alcohol in Scotland have been “sent back to the drawing board”, the First Minister has announced.

A consultation on proposals which would have severely restricted alcohol marketing at sporting events and in public spaces closed last month.

It suggested such potential measures as the ban of alcohol advertisements in newspapers and magazines, on outdoor billboards, a ban on alcohol brands sponsoring events, and the possibility that alcohol would be obscured in a similar manner to tobacco in supermarkets. Athletes would also have been banned from featuring in alcohol advertisements in print and online.

However while outlining his Programme for Government in Holyrood, Humza Yousaf announced that while the aim of the consultation was “admirable” he would be sending the proposals back to the drawing board.

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He said: “The aim of this consultation – to reduce the harm caused by alcohol to children – is admirable. I support it wholeheartedly.

“But it is clear that some of the proposals have caused real concern to an industry which is already facing challenges on multiple fronts.

“I have therefore instructed my officials to take these ideas back to the drawing board, and to work with the industry, and with public health stakeholders, to agree a new set of proposals.

“I believe that all of us want to reduce the harm caused by alcohol, particularly to young people but without undermining Scotland’s world class drinks industry or tourism sector.

“I am hopeful that by taking a fresh look at this issue, we can find a way forward which achieves both of those aims.”

At present, alcohol marketing is largely self-regulated by the industry (excluding on television, which is the domain of Ofcom).

The First Minister also announced a delay to the Deposit Return Scheme, which was set to launch in August but has now been pushed back to March 2024.