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Minister welcomes crack down on alcohol ads

Minister welcomes crack down on alcohol advertising

Associate Minister of Health Damien O'Connor says today’s release of the Advertising Standards Authority’s review on liquor advertising sends a strong signal to the alcohol industry that targeting young people will not be tolerated.

The ASA’s review panel on liquor advertising on television and radio has opted to tighten the provision of alcohol advertising, particularly that which targets minors.

Under the new advertising code, advertising of RTDs (ready-to-drink beverages) will be banned, as will other products, if their packaging and merchandise is likely to appeal to minors.

Mr O’Connor, who has delegated responsibility for alcohol control, said the code would send a clear message to the alcohol industry that targetting young people was now out of bounds.

“Advertisers will no longer be able to create ads using images that are directly targetted at teens, and their ads can’t be broadcast if the packaging does not conform to the code.

“Teenagers in particular are very easily influenced by what they see and hear in the media, and the portrayal of alcohol as a ‘cool’ socially-acceptable product is difficult to counter.

“There is growing evidence that advertising and drinking culture are linked, but now that the alcohol industry is less able to reach potential new drinkers through the TV or radio, society as a whole will be better off.”

Mr O’Connor said he was disappointed, however, that the review panel had relaxed the start time of liquor advertising on television to 8.30pm, from 9pm, but was pleased that submissions calling for alcohol advertising during sports broadcasts had been rejected by the panel.

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