Over the past 50 years alcohol advertising has increased in volume and expanded its reach, especially in the past 10-15 years through digital and online media. Industry has been at the forefront of innovations to ensure controls above-the-line are translated online.
Andrew Wilsmore, CEO of Alcohol Beverages Australia says, “With an advertising focus on moderate and responsible consumption of alcohol, we have led a cultural change with Australians now drinking at a 50-year low.”
Manufacturers and retailers of alcohol take the marketing and promotion of alcohol very seriously. Companies have developed voluntary controls to ensure marketing communications don’t target or have appeal to minors; that alcohol is portrayed responsibly and in moderation; and that alcohol is not associated with activities that may be unsafe.
“By having these strong marketing controls in place, we’ve maintained our ability to market to consumers, ensuring minors are not targeted. This approach is working – 82 per cent of teenagers abstain from alcohol (up from 54 per cent in 2004) and the age of the first drink is now at 16 years old (up from 14 years)”, says Wilsmore.
“Clearly there is no correlation between increases in alcohol advertising and young people drinking at harmful levels. Evidence in other countries that have implemented bans shows no effect on the age when people start drinking, or on reduction in alcohol consumption overall.”
“Online marketing is a constantly evolving space and we continue to work with the platforms to address the marketing of alcohol to people who, for whatever reason, don’t want to receive alcohol marketing messages. Addressing this issue is a key priority for the industry.”
- The quasi-regulatory ABAC Responsible Alcohol Marketing Code ensures alcohol is marketed in a responsible manner, but it doesn’t stop there. Many of our members have internal policies and procedures that are more stringent, limiting their activity on certain platforms.
- Retail Drinks Australia has also responded to the need to ensure online sale and delivery of alcohol is done safely and responsibly. The online Code of Conduct provides protection to avoid minors from ordering alcohol online, as well as ensuring that minors can’t receive deliveries, and intoxicated people can’t either. The Code is available here.
Contact for Alcohol Beverages Australia
Kerri Osborne, Media and Communications Manager, 041 851 3372.
Contact for Retail Drinks Australia
Julie Ryan, CEO, Retail Drinks Australia, 045 030 2378.