Statement on ADF “You Haven’t Been Drinking Alone” advertisement

Parents know you reward good behaviour, so it is disappointing this campaign focuses on the negative when Australians have earnt a pat on the back for overwhelmingly drinking in moderation during the coronavirus crisis.

Beer, wine and spirit producers have reported April as their worst trading month on record. This is supported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ ‘Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey’ which reveals 9.5% of Australians are drinking less, 47.1% are drinking the same amount, 14.4% are drinking more, and 28.9% continued to abstain.

Of those that choose to drink, independent research has shown they are drinking at moderate levels of around 8 standard drinks a week – well within official advice.

Having a drink in Australia is a social activity. Watching the footy with mates, a few drinks after work at the pub or a family barbecue on the weekend. The shutdown ended all of that.

The fact Australians have tried to replace just a few of these lost moments with a drink with friends over zoom isn’t something that needs demonising, especially when per capita consumption is at 50 year lows, underage drinking is at its lowest point on record, and our youngest generation is drinking more responsibly than any before them.

DrinkWise, with the support of industry, has been promoting parental influence messages over more than a decade: https://drinkwise.org.au/our-work/parents-campaign/#

Statement attributable to Andrew Wilsmore, Chief Executive Officer, Alcohol Beverages Australia.

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