Welcome to Alcohol Action Station
First Report of the Alcohol Advertising Review Board Released
Woodstock Bourbon Calendar Babes.
Alcoholic products called “Skinnygirl Cocktails”, “Pom Pom” and “Electric Pink”.
Jim Beam and Jack Daniel’s sponsorship of the V8 Supercars.
Smirnoff Vodka sponsorship of Groovin’ the Moo music festival.
Jim Beam on Campus, an alcohol promotion targeting university students.
These are just a few of the alcohol promotions found to breach the Alcohol Advertising Review Board (AARB) Code in its first three months of operation. In that time, the AARB received 63 complaints, 44 of which were considered appropriate for review by the AARB Panel. Of these, 25 were upheld, and 17 upheld in part.
The AARB, chaired by Professor Fiona Stanley AC, was established by the McCusker Centre and Cancer Council WA, with the support of a wide range of health and related organisations. The AARB considers and reviews complaints about alcohol advertising. Its Code is based on codes already accepted by the alcohol and advertising industries in Australia or overseas.
In launching the first report AARB Chair Professor Fiona Stanley said, “This shows a deeply disturbing range of alcohol advertising and promotion that simply should not be permitted”.
“In an Olympic week, the Gold medal for tasteless or inappropriate alcohol promotion goes to the Carlton Draught AFL sponsorship. The Silver medal goes to the Jim Beam on Campus promotion which clearly targets young people and is associated with Facebook images that are utterly inappropriate, and the Bronze medal goes to Skinnygirl Cocktails which must be of appeal to young women.”
Cancer Council WA Director of Research and Education Terry Slevin said, “The AARB gives concerned people a chance to challenge the way alcohol is advertised and promoted by holding alcohol companies to their own standards.
Alcohol cannot be treated just like any other product and greater controls are necessary on the way it is promoted and advertised. This cannot be left in the hands of the people who sell it.”
While some parts of the industry have cooperated with the AARB, most major companies have taken the line that they believe the current self-regulatory system to be adequate and appropriate.
Check out www.alcoholadreview.com.au
to see the first report, all 44 determination reports and for information about how to make a complaint about alcohol advertising that concerns you. For media coverage, see Alcohol in the Media below.
Until next time,
Julia Stafford, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth
Elecia Wheat, Injury Control Council of WA