Australia: Cancer Council WA Calls Out Opportunistic Alcohol Marketing

Australia: Cancer Council WA Calls Out Opportunistic Alcohol Marketing

Following an avalanche of alcohol ads on print and social media, the Cancer Council WA in Australia has called out the alcohol industry for opportunistic alcohol marketing.

The Cancer Council Western Australia is WA’s leading cancer charity working across every aspect of every cancer.

The organization says the alcohol industry is opportunistically using the COVID-19 pandemic to present themselves as responsible corporate citizens when their real motivation was to promote their products and brands.

As Movendi International previously reported, the alcohol and advertising industries are using this strategy of appearing responsible, sensitive and proactive to the pandemic to get free PR, good publicity, and good will from regulators for their products, brands, and operations.

How COVID-19 Affects Alcohol, Advertising Industries

One major beer brand took out a full page newspaper ad under the guise of advocating for physical distancing. But the majority of the ad was covered with the brand logo and name. It is unethical for alcohol companies to provide health advice which should be coming from health authorities.

Ads like these are more likely to build brand awareness and generate free PR for the alcohol brand than make any real contribution to responding to the pandemic,” said Julia Stafford, Alcohol Program Manager at the Cancer Council WA, as per their website.

There are more unethical ads on social media from liquor retailers promoting stockpiling of alcohol and heavy alcohol use while in quarantine at home. Ads for alcohol delivery is also common with retailers offering “contact-less” buying of alcohol. This poses some serious issues when it comes to alcohol delivery which is already hard to monitor. Alcohol could be provided to people with alcohol problems, underage alcohol users or already intoxicated persons further excaberating problems in society.

Ms. Stafford advises people to not use alcohol to reduce stress or anxiety during this challenging time as alcohol is known to increase such problems.

The World Health Organization has also advised to avoid alcohol use during this pandemic, and to not use psychoactive substances to cope.

Reducing your [alcohol use] will not only help to keep you healthy and safe now, you’ll reduce your risk of cancers and other health problems later. You’ll also be helping to prevent extra burdens on already-stretched health services,” added Ms. Stafford, as per Cancer Council WA.

The Cancer Council WA call commends the WA Government for introducing limits on takeaway alcohol to prevent alcohol related problems placing additional strains on the health system and police service and encourages the government to maintain these regulations even after the pandemic is over. 

Source Website: Cancer Council WA