With alcohol advertising hitting home runs in the digital space, we need to step up to the plate

Smartphones, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are now being used in alcohol advertising to engage consumers like never before.

Alcohol marketers’ use of social media means they’re no longer relying on one-way communication and passive exposure to influence consumers: now they’re getting young people actively involved in raising alcohol brand awareness.

These aggressive marketing techniques are a concern and pose challenges for alcohol and drug workers, health promoters, social marketers and policy-makers.

While experts in health promotion want this kind of alcohol advertising to be reviewed and regulated, they also realise the need for health promotion to be just as innovative and engaging in order to get their counter messages out.

It means having to compete with the big boys of alcohol advertising on the equal playing field of social media.


This emerging, critical issue will be explored at The Australian Winter School, a leading alcohol and drug conference, when it presents its stream Social Marketing and Social Media.

The Brisbane event will present several speakers and host a panel discussion on how the alcohol and drug sector can fight back and already are.

Presentations include:

The conference is also hosting a panel discussion: Tweet, share, playing with the big boys – the digital space and alcohol.

Participating on the panel will be Nicholas Carah of the University of Queensland, Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele, Professor Sandra Jones, the Australian Drug Foundations’ Geoff Munro and Kristy Schirmer, an expert in health promotion and public health.

View details on these presentations and panel.

Presented by Lives Lived Well, the Australian Winter School is being held from 22-24 July at the Brisbane Sofitel Hotel. It’s featuring 60 speakers across 15 streams.