Civil society, health promotion groups and federal Members of Parliament from all parties have called for legislation on alcohol marketing after release of the Alcohol Advertising Review Board 2014-15 Annual Report.
The report of the Alcohol Advertising Review Board (AARB), administered by health organisations and chaired by Professor Fiona Stanley AC, provides further evidence that self-regulation of alcohol advertising is ineffective and that many alcohol companies are ignoring concerns about young people’s exposure to alcohol ads through sport, television and online marketing.
In 2014-15, the AARB received 165 complaints; 92 determinations upheld complaints in full and 17 in part. For the third successive year, the AARB received more complaints than the industry’s self-regulatory system.
An independent national survey of 1,098 Australians in July 2015, commissioned by the McCusker Centre, found:
- 72% of Australians support legal controls to reduce young people’s exposure to alcohol advertising, with only 6% opposed;
- 69% of Australians support phasing out the promotion of alcohol through sports sponsorship, with only 10% opposed;
- 76% of Australians support limiting alcohol advertising on television to late night programming only; and
- 74% of Australians support phasing out television advertisements for alcohol during sports broadcasts.
Senator Richard Di Natale, Greens leader and former GP comments:
The time has come to get grog ads out of sport. Sport is a healthy pursuit and contains a lot of positive messages for kids but now when I sit down with my kids to watch the cricket or the footy, every second ad is for beer or betting odds. Like most parents, I don’t want sport being hijacked to sell my kids unhealthy or addictive adult products.
As a society, we already accept that it is appropriate to restrict certain types of programming to adult viewing times. Those restrictions are undermined by giant loopholes with regard to sports broadcasts.
The AARB was established by the McCusker Centre and Cancer Council Western Australia with support from many health organisations. Market research clearly shows strong public support for legislative controls to protect children and young people from exposure to alcohol promotion.