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$1.5 Million Of Free Time For Moderation Messages

MEDIACOM-RELEASE-ALAC

TV Channels Give $1.5 Million Of Free Time For Moderation Messages

Many New Zealand parents are having problems managing their teenagers drinking and should be given more encouragement and support in their efforts according to the Chief Executive of the Alcohol Advisory Council of NZ.

Dr MacAvoy, was speaking at the signing of an agreement between the Council and television companies - TVNZ, CanWest(TV3& TV4) and Prime - which provides for the allocation of $1.5 million worth of free television air time for moderation advertising.

"We recently undertook some research with the parents of teenagers and found that while many parents set rules about drinking and ensure adult supervision at events where alcohol is present, a significant proportion do not. The free time the television channels make available will allow us to continue our campaign which supports and encourages parents to take an active role in helping their teenagers learn to manage alcohol responsibly" said Dr MacAvoy.

TVNZ and Canwest have provided the free airtime since the introduction of liquor brand advertising in 1991. Chairman of the Television Broadcasters Council (and chief executive of CanWest) Graeme Hunter said "the channels were glad to be part of the effort to reduce the problems teenagers experience in dealing with alcohol."

"As the adults and parents of this country we need to work together to improve the health and well-being of our young people. Television plays a role in creating the attitudes of young people and this support for moderation advertising provides a tangible example of our commitment to a balanced point of view to alcohol. It is part of our responsible approach which also includes compulsory pre-vetting of all alcohol advertising on television and the placement of the commercials late in the evening" Mr Hunter said.

In ALAC's national survey of 403 parents of teenagers, three quarters (75%) claim that they mostly or always set rules for their teenager about alcohol but less than two-thirds (64%) mostly or always ensure that their teenager has adult supervision in situations where alcohol is present.

Dr MacAvoy said "I know from my own experience that being the parent of a teenager is not always the easiest thing. The reality is that parents can make a difference and it is important that we let them know that they are not the only parent in New Zealand who is ringing to check details of a party, despite what their teenager may say.

"We are very grateful to the TV channels for their generous support of our work. The time will not only be used for our parent campaign but also to support the LTSA drink drive campaigns and to encourage problem drinkers to seek help."

ENDS

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