Simone Pettigrew (E-mail:, Michelle I. Jongenelis (, Hannah Pierce (, Julia Stafford (, Danica Keric (


Simone Pettigrew, Michelle I. Jongenelis, Hannah Pierce, Julia Stafford, Danica Keric, Alcohol advertisement characteristics that increase the likelihood of code breaches, International Journal of Drug Policy, Volume 81, 2020, 102776, ISSN 0955-3959,

International Journal of Drug Policy
Release date

Alcohol advertisement characteristics that increase the likelihood of code breaches

Short Report



Exposure to alcohol advertising is associated with adverse outcomes among youth.

Alcohol advertising codes attempt to ensure that alcohol promotion meets community standards, especially in relation to minimising the exposure of children and young people.

The aim of this study was to assess the characteristics of Australian alcohol advertisements that breach the Alcohol Advertising Review Board’s (AARB) Code, with a particular focus on provisions relating to youth exposure.


The sample comprised 628 unique ads that were the subject of complaints to the AARB in its first five years of operation. The assessed characteristics were product type, company type, media type, and ad themes used.

All ads were coded by two coders, with a third coder resolving any disagreements.


On average, each of the assessed ads breached four AARB provisions, of which three breaches pertained to youth-related provisions.

Across all categories, the proportion of youth-related provisions violated was significantly larger than the proportion of total provisions violated.


Results suggest beer and spirits producers that use partying ad themes, engage in sponsorship arrangements, and use online advertising platforms should be a particular focus of alcohol advertising regulations.

Source Website: Science Direct