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Spacer Spacer Submission to the Liquor Review 1996

Alcohol Advertising

Youth exposure to alcohol advertising

  • The extent to which alcohol advertising is present in a country can be seen as a statement about how concerned that country and its government is about problems associated with alcohol. As discussed in the introduction, alcohol is a major factor associated with problems in our society, particularly among our young.
  • The public do not want children being exposed to televised alcohol advertising (Maskill et al. 1994). However, the current restriction of alcohol brand advertising on television to after 9 pm is not preventing children from seeing the alcohol brand advertisements. In addition, sponsorship advertising is allowed at all hours. Recent research (Wyllie, Waa & Zhang 1996) shows that a typical 5 to 14 year old saw almost 300 televised alcohol advertisements in 1995 and 10 to 17 year olds saw almost 400. Much of this advertising was on after 9 pm (64% of that seen by 5 to 14 year olds and 75% of that seen by 10 to 17 year olds).
  • Analyses which focus only on alcohol consumption trends since alcohol advertising began fail to take into account influences that are contributing to decreasing consumption, particularly the influence of taxation policy. It is likely that alcohol advertising is slowing the declining trend in consumption, and that it assists the recruitment of new drinkers, some of whom will become the heavier drinkers in our population (Wyllie, Zhang & Casswell, a&b, under review).

The review procedure

  • It is inappropriate for reviews of alcohol advertising to be organised and managed by vested interest groups. The advertising and broadcasting industries that make up the Advertising Standards Authority cannot be seen as impartial in this matter. This is an issue that should be dealt with at the level of a government select committee.
  • Research undertaken since the Potter report adds to the literature indicating that alcohol advertising is likely to beinfluencing drinking among young people. It would be inappropriate to make decisions on liquor advertising without taking the new research evidence into account.

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