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Alcohol advertising code changes cause for concern

Alcohol advertising code changes cause for concern

Associate Health Minister and Progressive leader Jim Anderton today expressed concern at a loosening of the Code for broadcast advertising of alcohol.

“I support the ban on ready to drink alcoholic drinks and the new principle of social responsibility which the Advertising Standards Complaints Appeal Board can use when dealing with advertisements which appeal to young people.

“I am concerned, however, that new rules today allow advertising for alcohol on television from 8.30 pm instead of 9.00 pm. Media exposure data shows that television alcohol advertising after 9 pm is already seen by Children and teenagers under 18.

“I am strongly of the view that this is a move in the wrong direction which could result in even more teenagers and young adults wanting to buy alcohol. Liquor advertising on television needs no further liberalisation.

“The Ministerial Action Committee on Drug Policy will meet with the Alcohol Advertising Review Panel next week and I will be asking them about this change.

“Encouraging responsible attitudes towards alcohol by New Zealanders of all ages is a priority for this coalition government but we need to be careful in any measures that will promote alcohol to teenagers.

“In 1998, about 15 per cent of young women aged 15-17 drank four or more drinks in one sitting at least once a week. Around 28 per cent of young women are drinking more than four drinks at a time at least once a week. These are girls under 17! Drinking by young men is at even higher levels.

“We need to ensure all measures to reduce youth alcohol abuse are headed in the same direction of encouraging more responsible use of alcohol,” said Jim Anderton.

The Ministerial Action Group on Drugs and Alcohol has an action plan containing 32 points which includes measures to reduce alcohol abuse.

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