19 July 2017
The alcohol beverages industry has welcomed improvements to the ABAC Responsible Alcohol Marketing Code, designed to provide stronger protection for minors and ensure all marketing of alcohol in Australia continues to reflect community expectations.
The changes to the Code, which will come into effect on 1 November, extend to the regulation of placement and complying with partner industry codes including the Outdoor Media Association Alcohol Guidelines, which prohibit alcohol advertising on fixed signs within a 150-metre sight line of a school.
The new standards will also stipulate that wherever media platforms have age restriction controls available, these must be utilised to exclude minors from the audience, and when not available, advertising must only be placed where the audience is reasonably expected to comprise a minimum 75% adults.
“Strengthening the ABAC code to include placement is a sensible move that is welcomed by the industry,” Alcohol Beverages Australia Executive Director Fergus Taylor said.
“The changes complement the existing robust ABAC restrictions which are in place to make sure alcohol advertising does not appeal to or target minors.
“These additional regulations mean that the community can be confident that alcohol advertising and marketing in Australia will continue to be vigorously and successfully regulated by the strict, independent ABAC system.
“Importantly Australians agree – recently-published research confirms that the standards set by ABAC in its rulings are actually more conservative than community expectations, so the industry is staying ahead of community standards.”
In May, Colmar Brunton Social Research surveyed 1,225 Australians regarding alcohol marketing considered by the ABAC Complaints Panel, and found that rulings under the ABAC Responsible Alcohol Marketing Code over the past three years were more conservative than general community standards. A significant majority of survey respondents had no concern or offence about advertising standards in general, and were not particularly concerned about the content of alcohol advertising in Australia.
“A decade-long decline in underage drinking and decrease in young people’s risky drinking has been achieved while alcohol advertising has been increasing and diversifying onto new platforms like sponsorships and social media,” Mr Taylor said.
“These positive results emphasise that the alcohol beverages industry is marketing its products responsibly and co-regulation is working, and the industry will keep working with governments and local communities to ensure this continues.”
Alcohol Beverages Australia is the peak industry body created to highlight the positive social, cultural and economic contribution of alcohol beverages in Australia, and promote, explain and defend the legitimate rights of the industry and the 15 million Australians who drink responsibly. www.alcoholbeveragesaustralia.org.au
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