Doctors have called for a ban on alcohol advertising to stop binge drinking among young people.

The British Medical Association wants to curb the drinks industry’s annual £270m worth of advertising to promote sales of beer, wine and spirits.

Drinks watchdog, the Portman Group, told the Daily Telegraph that it did not see the need for an advertising ban."The Advertising Standards Authority and the Independent Television Commission already have strict guidelines to protect the public and these are well observed by the alcohol industry," a spokesman said.

The guidelines prevented the showing of anything that would encourage the misuse of alcohol, drinking in inappropriate circumstances or drinking for the wrong reasons, he added.

At its annual conference in Torquay, BMA delegates heard that binge drinking caused huge personal damage and the cost of liver transplants was a drain on the NHS.