EUCAM - European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing

Call for mandatory declaration of alcohol advertising spend

5 August 2009

Call for mandatory declaration of alcohol advertising spend In a move which could set international precedents, the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) is calling for mandatory declarations of alcohol industry advertising and promotional expenditure.

President of the PHAA, Professor Mike Daube said, ‘The drinks industry, and groups such as the distillers, are very good at opposing action, but they do not provide even the most basic information that will help us to understand the influences on young people to buy alcohol products.’ ‘We are seeing massive efforts by industry groups such as the distillers to counter tax increases and public education with relentless promotion through advertising, sponsorships, bottle shop promotions, discounting, websites and other forms of marketing,’ he said.

‘Youth and binge drinking have been increasing in recent years, with very serious consequences for the health and well-being of young people. The drinks industry spends hundreds of millions of dollars promoting its products, with no effective controls. They advertise heavily in all media, at times when millions of children are viewing. They promote their products to young people through sponsorship that turns sporting heroes—such as the Australian cricket team—into alcohol billboards. A survey last year found that during one afternoon televised sporting event the alcohol sponsor’s logo was clearly visible for 75% of playing time.’

‘The major televised sporting codes such as the Australian Football League, cricket, rugby league and rugby union are awash in alcohol sponsorship. The PHAA has called for proper controls over this form of promotion, which makes a mockery of solemn statements about players’ responsibilities as role models.’ ‘Drinks companies should either reveal their full promotional spend or face a legislative requirement that this information be provided regularly to governments and the community. This will ensure that we know exactly what is being done to encourage drinking by young people, and how much effort is going into undermining measures like the alcopops tax and public education programs. Alcohol is no ordinary commodity: its promotion should be much more effectively controlled and regulated,’ said Professor Daube.

Source: PHHA

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