Welcome to Alcohol Action Station edition #111
Issue no. 111
In this Issue
  • Welcome to Alcohol Action Station
  • Did you know?
  • New Research: Facebook and Alcohol Advertising
  • Shelved Report Calls for Action on Alcohol
  • New Research: Energy Drinks and Alcohol Use Among Young People
  • New Research on Alcohol Industry Attempts to Influence Marketing Regulations
  • Sounds of Smirnoff Promotion: Targeting ‘Youth’ Brands
  • Have Your Say!
  • Alcohol in the Media
  • The Facts

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station

Secondary supply legislation has passed through both Lower and Upper Houses in the WA Parliament and MPs are hopeful it will be formally signed off in the next few weeks. secondary supply laws
The first part of the Liquor Legislation Amendment Bill 2015, which includes secondary supply laws, is planned to get to the Executive Council meeting on 10 November. The Hon Bill Marmion MLA is hopeful that it will be introduced before Leavers later in November.
All MPs speaking at the third reading of the bill showed strong support for secondary supply legislation, despite having some issues with other parts of the bill. Members of Parliament also called on the government to ensure that funding is set aside for an education campaign to make sure people are well informed of the new laws and to get the best outcome.
In his closing remarks, the Hon Bill Marmion MLA said that one of the really good things that will result from this bill is secondary supply law. “I think it is one of the most important things that have been done with alcohol laws this year, if not for many years,” he said.
Want more?
Read the
WA Parliament Hansard from 22 October (Liquor Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 starts on page 7917) and the second reading of the bill from 21 October (starts on page 7774).

What do you think?
We’d love to hear what you think about this. Let us know your thoughts at
Until next time,
Danica Keric, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth
Megan De Piazz, Injury Control Council of WA

did you know?

Exposure to alcohol advertising influences young people’s beliefs and attitudes about drinking, and increases the likelihood that adolescents will start to use alcohol and will drink more if they are already using alcohol.
Source: Alcohol advertising and young people. MCAAY factsheet. Available from:

Encourage others to take action on alcohol. Forward this to a friend.
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New Research: Facebook and Alcohol Advertising

New research looking at alcohol advertising on Facebook shows a significant association between active interaction with an alcohol brand on Facebook and problematic drinking.
Other key findings of the study of 16- to 24-year-olds include:
  • Facebook14% report seeing alcohol ads on Facebook over the past month. Of those, the majority (87.5%) reported seeing between one and four such ads during the past month.
  • 20.8% reported that they visited an alcohol page (including 10.2% of those aged under 18 years) in the past month.
  • The main reasons for visiting an alcohol brand’s Facebook page were to find out about a competition, because they enjoy drinking the product and because they saw a friend’s comment or post.
  • There was a strong association between engagement with alcohol brands on Facebook and problematic drinking. 
The study authors conclude, “…given the substantial evidence of the failure of industry self-regulation of alcohol marketing in other media, and the growing use of social media by both marketers and consumers, the findings of this study support calls for pro-active consideration of the need for more effective regulation of alcohol marketing on social network platforms.”
Want more?
Read the full research report in the Alcohol and Alcoholism.

Alcohol in WA Supermarkets? We Say No

Aldi, the German supermarket chain, has lodged an application to sell alcohol in its proposed store in Harrisdale, near Jandakot, and is expected to also apply for licences for a number of other stores.
Health groups are concerned that the sale of alcohol at Aldi will normalise the purchase of alcohol for children. Prof Mike Daube, Director of the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth said, “Here in WA, we are concerned about the supply of alcohol to kids. The issue is whether we haul the line on not having alcohol sold as a regular household product along with the daily shopping.”
Should this be allowed, it would set a precedent for other liquor stores around WA. Richard Goyder, CEO of Wesfarmers, the parent company of Coles recently said that the same rules should apply to all supermarkets in WA. “If Aldi’s allowed then we should be allowed. There shouldn’t be one set of rules for Aldi and another for us,” he said.
The McCusker Centre plans to object to the application because Aldi’s layout would help normalise the purchase of alcohol.
Want more?
Read Aldi’s application on the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor website. Read media coverage here and here.

What do you think?
Do you think alcohol should be sold separately from other groceries like toilet paper and milk? Let us know your thoughts at

Shelved Report Calls for Action on Alcohol

An expert report on alcohol advertising in Australia, buried with the demise of the Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA) has called for far-reaching changes to the rules governing alcohol advertising. ANPHA report
The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) obtained the report under a Freedom of Information request. The Minister for Rural Health, Fiona Nash, said the release of the report had been ‘overlooked’. FARE Chief Executive, Michael Thorn, says it is inexcusable that the government attempted to bury the report at a time when the industry is actively moving to expose children to even greater levels of alcohol advertising.
The report made 30 recommendations, including a recommendation to close the loophole that currently allows the advertising of alcohol before 8.30pm during live sport broadcasts on weekends and public holidays, and Pay TV alcohol advertising practices to be brought into line with free-to-air TV.
Mr Thorn said, “The current self-regulatory framework is failing our children. It’s leaving them exposed to harmful alcohol advertising…it is now time for government to admit that in its current form, Australia’s alcohol advertising and marketing regulations are providing inadequate protection to our children, and to signal its intention to fix this.” 
Want more?
Read the media release and the report on FARE’s website.
Read media coverage.
Read Prof Sandra Jones’ piece Alcohol advertising has no place no our kids' screens on The Conversation.    

New Research: Energy Drinks and Alcohol Use Among Young People

WA researchers recently surveyed sixty 18-21 year olds to identify what motivates and prevents them from using alcohol mixed with energy drinks.
The findings indicate that there may be a general understanding of the negative effects of the use of alcohol mixed with energy drinks, and that these can create barriers that discourage frequent consumption among young people.
Key findings
  • image of a canEnergy drink use was most common among the younger participants, students and heavier alcohol consumers. Only 2 members of the sample said they drank energy drinks without ever combining them with alcohol.
  • The participants nominated a wide range of barriers, motivators and facilitators to the use of alcohol mixed with energy drinks. The barriers category had the largest number of factors, reflecting a high awareness of the negative factors of the use of alcohol mixed with energy drinks.
  • Health concerns were the most common identified barriers to the use of alcohol mixed with energy drinks, and females were more likely than males to report being concerned about the health effects. Other barriers included the cost and taste of energy drinks and low caffeine tolerance levels by some participants.
  • Some of the motivators for use included social and functional outcomes and the need to comply with peer expectations.
The authors conclude that overall, the results suggest that positive deviance and social norms approaches have the potential to improve outcomes for young people by assuring them that their peers share their views and providing tangible and realistic alternatives to the use of alcohol mixed with energy drinks.
Want more?
Read the full paper in the journal Appetite

New Research on Alcohol Industry Attempts to Influence Marketing Regulations

Researchers from the UK have conducted a systematic review of the alcohol industry tactics used in attempts to influence marketing regulation or marketing-related policy debates.
The study authors identified a varied nature of political activity. The alcohol industry argues against marketing regulation by emphasizing industry responsibility and the effectiveness of self-regulation, questioning the effectiveness of statutory regulation and by focussing on individual responsibility. The study also found that the industry primarily conveys its arguments through manipulating the evidence base and by promoting ineffective voluntary codes and non-regulatory initiatives.
The review identified marked similarities between the tobacco and alcohol industry political activities, including misrepresenting the evidence base and using third parties and front groups to lobby.
It’s important to be aware of some of the strategies that the alcohol industry uses and this paper shines a light as to what some of those may be.
Want more?
Read the full paper in Addiction.

Sounds of Smirnoff Promotion: Targeting ‘Youth’ Brands

The Alcohol Advertising Review Board recently received two complaints about the Sounds of Smirnoff promotion which offered customers the chance to win prizes such as Spotify subscriptions, gift vouchers for youth clothing brands, Smirnoff-branded merchandise and a trip for four to a festival in Vegas.image of a girl at a concert
The complainants were concerned that Smirnoff was seeking to associate itself with products and activities attractive to and popular among young people.
The Panel found the ad breached the code, on the basis that the promotion would have strong appeal to young people. A Panel member commented that it seems clear that this promotional strategy for Smirnoff Ice Double Black is targeting young people. Another Panel member commented that the products included as prizes in the promotion are brands that are marketed to young people. They noted that this is confirmed by the statement in the liquor industry magazine that states that Smirnoff’s intention is to associate with ‘youth brands’.
The complaints were upheld against the four provisions of the Alcohol Advertising Review Board Code.
What can I do?
If you see an alcohol ad that concerns you, let the Alcohol Advertising Review Board know about it.
Want more?
Read the determination report on the AARB website.

Have Your Say!

image of a megaphoneWe are always keen to hear from community members about the alcohol issues that concern you.
We’ve had a suggestion to include comments from community members on key alcohol-related issues in future editions and we would love to be able to do that.

If you would like to have your say, get in touch and let us know your thoughts. Send us a line at or give Danica a call on 9266 4132 if you would like to have a chat.

Alcohol in the Media

Police call for end to 24-hour licensing over alcohol-related violence
The Guardian (UK), 26 October 2015
Police officers have urged ministers to call time on 24-hour licensing, after three-quarters of police officers and 50% of ambulance staff told a survey they had been injured while handling drink-related violence.
Screening for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder could impact level of youth crime, experts say
ABC News, 25 October 2015
Screening juveniles for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) could help break the cycle of youth crime, leading paediatricians and youth justice workers say.
Study probes alcohol’s effect on former drinkers
The West Australian, 23 October 2015
Drinking is arguably a part of Australia’s social culture but researchers at Adelaide University are looking at the impact on those who say no. 
‘Balance’ is key to Aldi’s alcohol bid
The West Australian, 23 October 2015
Racing, Gaming and Liquor Minister Colin Holt says Aldi will have to overcome challenges to sell alcohol in its new WA stores, but the State’s drinking culture is maturing and becoming more European.
Blacktown’s sobering alcohol-fuelled crime statistics revealed
Daily Telegraph, 20 October 2015
It’s a sobering fact – every day a person is arrested and charged with drink-driving in the Blacktown area.

The Facts

Estimates on the cost of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) from Canada show:
  1. The costs totalled around $1.8 billion.
  2. The highest contributor to the overall FASD-attributable cost was the cost of productivity losses due to morbidity and premature mortality ($532 million-$1.2 billion).
  3. The second highest contributor was the cost of corrections ($378.3 million).
  4. The third highest contributor was the cost of healthcare ($128.5-226.3 million).
Source: Popova et al. The Economic Burden of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Canada in 2013. Alcohol and Alcoholism 2015.
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.

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