AMA calls for Parliamentary Inquiry into alcohol advertising and promotion
AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said today that research released by The Salvation Army adds weight to the AMA’s call for a Parliamentary Inquiry into alcohol advertising and promotion and the ways that it targets young people.
The Roy Morgan research, commissioned by The Salvation Army, shows there is significant community concern about the strong links between alcohol and sport, and that many people believe that alcohol advertising is encouraging young people to drink more.
Dr Hambleton said there is an urgent need for a rethink of the way alcohol is marketed and promoted in Australia.
“Young Australians are exposed to an unprecedented level of advertising that glorifies alcohol and, as the research shows, there is a lot of advertising that links alcohol with sport,” Dr Hambleton said.
“Australia is a sporting nation and the alcohol industry concentrates a lot of its promotional and sponsorship activity on live broadcasts of the most prominent and popular sporting events, including grand finals that are watched by millions of people.
“Alcohol brands are promoted during the ad breaks, and alcohol product logos are featured at the sporting grounds, on players’ jerseys, and on billboards.
“There is strong evidence that the more young people are exposed to alcohol advertising, the earlier they start drinking, the more they drink, and the more alcohol-related harm they experience.
“Associating alcohol with sport sends a clear message to young people that drinking and sport go together.
“This association contributes to young people taking up drinking and drinking at harmful levels.
“Sports sponsorship is not covered by current advertising regulations.
“As a first step in breaking the link between alcohol and sport, the current exemption permitting alcohol advertising during live sporting broadcasts before8:30pm on commercial free-to-air television should be removed.”
Dr Hambleton said that industry self-regulation is clearly not working.
“The alcohol industry should not be allowed to regulate its own advertising practices,” Dr Hambleton said.
“Alcohol advertising should be subject to government regulation, which is independent of the alcohol and advertising industries.”
The AMA reiterates its call on the Government to establish a major Parliamentary Inquiry into alcohol advertising with terms of reference that include:
- a comprehensive analysis of the extent to which children, teenagers and young Australians are exposed to alcohol advertising and promotion, and the modes and contexts in which it occurs;
- a substantial focus on marketing techniques in digital platforms and in new and emerging social media, and the extent to which these platforms and media are targeted;
- a focus on alcohol industry sponsorship of sporting and youth cultural and music events and alcohol promotion targeting tertiary education students,
- a requirement that leading alcohol companies and their communications agencies table their annual expenditure;
- a comprehensive independent review and analysis of research on the impacts of alcohol advertising and promotion on the attitudes and behaviours of young Australians regarding alcohol consumption;
- a ‘failure-analysis’ of the voluntary, industry-administered code of alcohol advertising practice that currently operates in Australia; and
- recommended best practice approaches to government regulatory schemes for alcohol marketing.
21 October 2014
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Published: 21 Oct 2013