Welcome to Alcohol Action Station e-newsletter edition #17
Issue no. 17
In this Issue
  • Welcome to alcohol action station
  • Did you know?
  • Tis' the season for alcohol promotions
  • Ad complaint Update
  • do you know a community champion?
  • juvie leavers and the role of parents
  • update on alcohol warning labels
  • have a happy and safe christmas
  • alcohol in the media
  • the facts

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station

Yet another outdoor alcohol advert has been spotted outside a WA school.
The Outdoor Media Association – whose own guidelines require that alcohol ads not be placed within 150m of a school – described the placement of the ad as a mistake. Given that we are aware of at least 8 examples of alcohol ads outside WA schools in recent times and that this was the second time an alcohol ad had been spotted outside the same school, it would appear to be less of a ‘mistake’ and more of a symptom of an advertising self-regulatory system with serious flaws.
Click here to view the Weekend Courier Community Newspaper report on the latest alcohol ad identified outside a school.
What do you think? Do you think our young people deserve to go to school or catch the bus without having to be exposed to alcohol promotions on billboards and bus shelters?
As this is our last edition of Alcohol Action Station for the year, we would like to wish you all a safe and happy Christmas and a great start to 2012!
We will be back in January with some fresh angles and look forward to working with you to take action on alcohol in your community! If you have any ideas for things to include or feedback on Alcohol Action Station we’re all ears!
Until next time,
Julia Stafford, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth
Elecia Wheat, Injury Control Council of WA

did you know?

Beer brand VB has announced it will spend about $5.5 million on marketing this summer, a substantial increase on recent years.

Source: A free beer fridge? Matter of fact, I want one now. The Age. 2011 Dec 2.

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Tis’ the Season for Alcohol Promotions

With Christmas and New Years’ fast approaching, alcohol companies are ramping up their summer ad campaigns. The hot summer weather combined with the holiday season is an alcohol advertisers dream, and many alcohol brands have announced details of their huge marketing budgets over summer.
We encourage you to keep an eye on alcohol promotions over the Christmas and New Year period – particularly those that would appeal to young people. Whether you spot them on billboards, magazines, newspapers or bottle shop catalogues, snap a photo and send us any examples of ads that catch your eye.

We’re always happy to hear from you!

Ad Complaint Update

In October, MCAAY lodged an advertising complaint about the Facebook pages for Thirsty Camel bottle shops...and this is why...
Thirsty Camel had posted messages such as:
24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case – coincidence?? I think not! (Thirsty Camel WA)
If you’re going to lay around the house and drink beer all day, you gotta start early in the morning. (Thirsty Camel Vic & NSW)
Scientists have discovered getting drunk actually enhances your memory, that’s good news after the weekend I have had! (Thirsty Camel NSW)
After two months, we received a partial ruling. ABAC acknowledged that Thirsty Camel had breached the Code by failing to present a mature, balanced and responsible approach to the
consumption of alcohol beverages and that the comments encouraged the excessive consumption and abuse of alcohol.
The extent of alcohol promotion is boundless. As alcohol promotions move more and more to electronic media, it is increasingly difficult to act on inappropriate promotions.

Do you Know a Community Champion?

In future editions of Action Alcohol Station we will be profiling local people who are doing inspirational things in the community to raise awareness and take action on the harms from alcohol.
If that sounds like someone you know (or if it’s you), please let us know!
A Community Champion could be someone who is active in the school community, the local sporting club, the community youth centre or in any other setting (even from their own home) to prevent harm from alcohol among young people.

Juvie Leavers and the Role of Parents

Official Leavers’ celebrations are over for another year but it seems that Leavers hot spot Rottnest has been anything but quiet. If you picked up The West Australian newspaper any day last week you will have read about ‘Juvie Leavers’, the unofficial event on Rottnest Island where 14-16 year olds go to party as though they are Year 12 Leavers.
Why is Juvie leavers of concern?
  • Teenagers aged only 14 to 16 years are drinking in an unsupervised environment;
  • Police and medical resources are stretched to deal with the resulting crime (e.g. destroying property and stealing bikes) and effects of intoxication (e.g. vomiting, injuries);
  • The binge drinking that appears to be a major part of Juvie leavers is associated with a range of serious harms including injury, unprotected sex, damage to property and the impact of alcohol on the developing brain.
Much of the media covering Juvie leavers has focused on the role of parents. Jane Marwick wrote an interesting opinion piece on this theme in The West Australian – well worth a read.
Juvie leavers has also prompted discussion around the need for secondary supply laws that would make it illegal to supply alcohol to minors without their parents’ consent. NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania have such laws...why not WA?
Parents have an important role in modelling appropriate behaviour and in considering how their own attitudes and habits related to alcohol influence their children. Support is available for parents to assist them in their important role. The Drug and Alcohol Office have produced the resource, Young people and alcohol: Helpful information for parents and carers (available online) or have a look at

Update on Alcohol Warning Labels

Alcohol warning labels have been a hot topic in 2011 and we’ve tried to keep you updated on the action. For a refresher, check out editions 7 and 9 of Alcohol Action Station.
The Commonwealth Government recently announced its position on alcohol warning labels in response to the Labelling Logic report. In summary, the Government announced:
  • It will support mandatory pregnancy warning labels on alcohol products after two years during which time the alcohol industry will be ‘allowed to take this step voluntarily’.
  • Over the next two years, the alcohol industry will be left to use the labels developed by the alcohol industry-supported group, DrinkWise, on a voluntary basis.
There was still more labeling discussion to come. Last Friday, members of the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council met to consider food labelling issues – including whether pregnancy health warning labels should be placed on alcohol products sold in Australia.
In the days before the meeting, 63 leading health and community professionals signed an open letter calling for the Ministerial Council to support the introduction of strong, research-based mandatory pregnancy warnings on alcohol products and at the point of sale.
The open letter can be viewed here.
The Communiqué released following the Ministers’ meeting noted, “Ministers agreed that warnings about the risks of consuming alcohol while pregnant should be pursued.  Industry is to be given the opportunity to introduce appropriate labelling on a voluntary basis for a period of two years before regulating for this change.”
This is a modest step forward. On the one hand the Government and the Ministerial Council have acknowledged the need for pregnancy warning labels on alcohol products (great!), on the other hand the processes for here on in are very unclear and while pregnancy warnings are important there is also a need to address the other harms caused by alcohol.
We’ve seen what the warning labels developed by the alcohol industry look like and they are grossly inadequate. The labels are small, hard to notices and do not describe harms that can result from alcohol misuse. International experience with voluntary labelling also suggests that the industry will continue to oppose effective, mandated, research-based warning labels.
Many health groups throughout Australia believe that the prevention of harm from alcohol, including Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, is too important to be left to the alcohol industry. There is still a way to go to ensure that the Government’s support for pregnancy warning labels is translated into strong, research-based warnings rather than the inadequate labels favoured by the alcohol industry.
We will continue to keep you in the loop on this important issue in 2012.

Have a Happy and Safe Christmas!

Christmas is one of the happiest times of the year, but can turn into disaster when alcohol is involved. Greater awareness over the ‘silly season’ can prevent accidents involving alcohol and it’s important that you also look after others.
This is also a good period to think about your own drinking habits and how your actions impact on others. Set the example this season and if you are going to drink alcohol, do it in moderation.
Here are some tips for surviving the silly season parties:
  • Set limits for yourself as to how much you want to drink and stick to them
  • Start with a non-alcoholic drink and alternate with alcoholic drinks
  • Drink slowly
  • Try drinks with a lower alcohol content – try making some festive mocktails
  • Eat before or while you are drinking
  • If you participate in rounds of drinks, try to include some non-alcoholic drinks.

Alcohol in the Media

Parents who can’t say no (PDF 240kb)
The West Australian, 10 December 2011
Jane Marwick examines the role of parents in Juvie leavers.
Rotto ruckus sparks crackdown
The West Australian, 8 December 2011
People aged under 25 will be banned from renting Rottnest accommodation under a plan in response to this week's drunken and antisocial behaviour on the island.
Stores face crackdown over sale of cheap liquor
The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 December 2011
The main supermarket chains [in NSW] have been warned that selling alcohol too cheaply may affect their chances of getting new bottle-shop licenses approved, in a crackdown by NSW authorities.
Booze blitz snares 800 revellers
The West Australian, 5 December 2011
More than 800 people were charged across WA during a blitz on alcohol-fuelled antisocial behaviour, sparking a call from police for revellers to behave responsibly during the festive season.
Aussie women drink dangerously
The Sunday Times, 4 December 2011
Females are drinking more alcohol – and women under 30 in particular are putting their health in serious jeopardy.

The Facts

Music festivals over summer are a key marketing ground for alcohol companies:
  1. Pure Blonde’s outdoor campaign will include the Pure Blonde Dome at Summadayze Melbourne, with the beer having a presence at 15 music festivals across the country.
  2. Strongbow’s summer campaign will include music festival sponsorship and outdoor posters featuring its experiential activation idea the SS Strongbow, which has become a regular fixture at festivals.Strongbow will be available at 25 Australian music festivals.
  3. Bacardi will sponsor the Fuzzy Festival portfolio including, Parklife, Harbourlife, Shore Thing and Field Day. Bacardi will trial its new cocktail range at Fuzzy Festivals across the country aimed to drive both trial and awareness amongst the core target of 18 to 29 year olds.
Alcohol Action Station aims to provide the WA community with the tools to take action to reduce harms from alcohol among young people. It is provided by the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth in association with the Injury Control Council of WA. You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to receive Alcohol Action Station fortnightly e‐newsletters and urgent bulletins.

Copyright © 2011 Alcohol Action Station, All rights reserved.

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