Liquorland lashed by ADF

Liquorland lashed by Australian Drug Foundation

We have issued the following media release in response to Liquorland facing no consequences for multiple breaches of the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code. 

The Australian Drug Foundation is calling for tighter controls on alcohol advertising, including an end to an exemption allowing alcohol to be marketed on daytime television during sports coverage.

One of Australia’s biggest alcohol retailers Coles-owned Liquorland has been found in breach of the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) with a series of television ads shown during January.

ADF Head of Policy Geoff Munro said this case shows how ridiculous Australia’s self-regulated alcohol marketing regulations are.

“This is a clear example that this self-regulation by the alcohol industry is no regulation. It is really a farce.”

“This is a devastating result for ABAC. Liquorland is not a signatory to the voluntary code, so while their five ads are each found to have breached the code multiple times, they don’t face any penalties or repercussions.

“In fact the strongest action the code can take is to ‘recommend’ they no longer run the ads – which Liquorland are under no obligation to follow. This is ridiculous.”

“The ads aired during summer, with nearly 50 complaints from viewers submitted to ABAC, including; deliberately appealing to children, promoting irresponsible use and excessive consumption of alcohol, and taking advantage of the exemption given to the alcohol industry to advertise during children’s viewing hours if associated with a live sports broadcast.

The ADF is calling on regulators to close the loopholes in alcohol advertising.

“The community has prevented alcohol being advertised during the day on television because of the influence it has on children who are watching. But the contradictory thing is, we’ve left a wide open gap in that rule, because we allow alcohol advertising during the day if it’s part of a live sports broadcast.

“If we are serious about preventing alcohol-related harm in our community, removing alcohol advertising from live sports broadcasts is a simple first step. Sport lovers, especially children, should not be forced to watch ads for beer, wine and spirits when watching football, cricket, tennis or any other sport during the day.”

Read a Sydney Morning Herald article about the breaches.

Watch one of the five Liquorland ads in question below:

What do you think, should Australia have an independent system to regulate alcohol advertising? Post your comments below this story.

Tasmanian dad, Aaron Schultz, has started a petition to lobby Cricket Australia to stop promoting alcohol through sport. You can sign Aaron’s petition to let Cricket Australia know your views. Check out why Aaron decided to start the petition.