Premier League clubs have been accused of using football idols to promote energy drinks – despite plans to ban their sale to children.
Monster Energy has a tie-in with eight top-flight clubs to advertise the high-caffeine, sugary drinks.
The firm’s adverts feature on pitchside boards at Brighton, Crystal Palace, Everton, Leicester City, Southampton, Spurs, Watford and West Ham. Their logos and branding also appear on the clubs’ websites.
Monster Energy Original has 55g sugar – 14 teaspoons worth – in a single 500ml can. Meanwhile, Chelsea have a partnership agreement with League Cup sponsors Carabao. It sells drinks containing up to 14.9g of sugar, or 3.5tsps, per 330ml can.
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The NHS says kids aged seven to 10 should have no more than 24g a day.
Michael Viggars, of the European Healthy Stadia Network, said: “When young fans see their idols endorsing Monster Energy, knowingly or otherwise, this increases their intention to consume these products. In July, the Government announced that the sale of energy drinks to people aged under 16 is set to be banned.”
Most supermarkets have already taken this step. Paul Evans, of the British Obesity Society, said it was “shocking to see some of the biggest sides in the game encouraging the consumption of energy drinks”.
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Carabao said: “We have strict internal rules in place to ensure our targeting avoids those under 16. This is why we as a business have always explicitly labelled our products as ‘not recommended for children’, and we actively do not market to U16s.”
Spurs declined to comment. Monster Energy and the other clubs did not respond.
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