Wrong on alcohol ads
10 April 2019
THE claim in the article 'Mick Malthouse supports push to reform alcohol advertising' (The Age, 8 April 2019) that alcohol advertising during sports programming targets youth, is wrong.
Independent Australian and international research shows alcohol advertising is not a catalyst for youth attitudes to alcohol, drinking behaviour or uptake. Parents, family and peers are by far the principal influences.
OzTAM, which measures television audiences, shows that across the 2018 AFL and NRL seasons adults (18+) accounted for 92 per cent and 91 per cent of viewing audiences, respectively.
You cannot credibly claim these broadcasts or their advertising target kids when less than 10 per cent of the audience are under 18.
These numbers are above Australia's Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code requirement for a minimum 75 per cent adult audience before alcohol ads can be aired.
This threshold is international best practice and strictly adhered to.
In the past 40 years, alcohol advertising has increased in volume and expanded its reach, especially in the past 10-15 years through digital and online media.
Yet, every Australian Government indicator shows underage drinking data improving markedly, including 82 per cent of teens abstaining (up from 54 per cent in 2004).
If there were a correlation between alcohol advertising and sports sponsorship and youth consumption, the numbers would be headed in the opposite direction.
Brett Heffernan, CEO, Brewers Association of Australia
This letter was published in The Age newspaper on 10 April 2019.
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