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Big Booze stunt a misleading PR attempt from liquor industry

20 November 2012

PUBLIC WARNING

Big Booze stunt tomorrow in Auckland is New Zealand’s version of a well known alcohol industry strategy, designed to try and improve their reputation while they block any effective alcohol law reform

The Brewers’ Association, Distilled Spirits Association, and New Zealand Winegrowers are launching an initiative tomorrow at Auckland’s Viaduct Basin called “The Tomorrow Project”.

Alcohol Action NZ warns the public not to be fooled by this expensive and well-planned launch, as it is simply a marketing exercise, dressed up as a health promotion event. Using a well documented alcohol industry tactic, it is a cynically designed exercise to attempt to improve their public image, while increasing beer, wine and spirit sales.

The apparent message of this stunt will be, “we are responsible business people committed to reducing alcohol-related harm in new and innovative ways”. The real message is “you don’t need to adopt effective alcohol regulation”.

The stunt is likely to involve the promotion of “10 targeted actions”, five of which were described in a Big Booze press release on October 10, 2012 in Washington DC, which can be paraphrased as follows:

1. Reduce underage drinking via enforcement
2. Industry self-regulation of alcohol marketing
3. Industry control of health messaging
4. No new drink driving countermeasures
5. Empty rhetoric about “responsible” alcohol retailing

“As would be predicted these are a series of proven ineffective strategies promoted to avoid any real alcohol reform that a government might enact.”

ENDS

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