AN up-and-coming Scottish gin distiller has warned proposals to ban alcohol advertising in Scotland could put it "out of business".

Scottish ministers stoked controversy in November when they launched a consultation on a range of measures to restrict alcohol advertising and promotion. The proposals could lead to a ban on alcohol advertising outdoors, alcohol sponsorship being phased out, and curbs on the promotion of alcohol in shops.

But the plans, which seek to reduce alcohol-related harm, have provoked an angry response from the drinks industry, with one fledgling distiller declaring that they threaten the existence of his business.

READ MORE: Hearts chairman Ann Budge steps down at Scottish company

Andy Samuel, founder of Gourock-based Shipyard Gin, posted on Linked-In: "On top of an ill thought-through and rushed deposit return scheme that is supposed to go live in August regardless if it is ready or not, The Scottish Government are currently having a consultation on banning alcohol advertising. Put simply this will put Shipyard Gin out of business.

“As a young brand we need to advertise to grow brand awareness, this includes our partnership with Greenock Morton Football Club, social media advertising, printed and online advertising to name a few. Under this latest attack on the industry, we wouldn’t be able to advertise at all.

“Just like alcohol minimum pricing, Scottish Government are trying to look like they are doing something to tackle a problem but it’s merely lip service.”

READ MORE: Hitachi Rail is latest company to move into Glasgow's Citizen building

Mr Samuel, who launched Shipyard Gin in October 2021 with branding inspired by Inverclyde’s shipbuilding heritage, added: “The Scottish Government need to tackle the societal issues that contribute to alcohol abuse like poverty, cultural drinking, unemployment, alcohol education yet they are hell bent on putting a sticky plaster on a broken leg. Shipyard Gin won’t be the only business they’ll be responsible for putting to the wall.”

Launching the consultation in November, Public Health Minister Maree Todd said: “There is clear evidence that adverts which glamorise drinking can encourage young people to drink alcohol and have a detrimental impact on those in recovery from problem alcohol use.  

“We are making progress already – with our minimum unit pricing reducing alcohol sales in the off-trade – but with 1,245 alcohol related deaths last year we know that more needs to be done if we are to tackle Scotland’s problematic relationship with alcohol.

“This consultation is an important step in doing that, and I am extremely grateful for the young voices who have helped us get this far.”