New Guidelines On Alcohol Packaging
Major national retail chains and alcohol producers have signed up to an agreement not to stock or produce any alcoholic products whose packaging might appeal to those under the legal drinking age.
Dr Mike MacAvoy Chief Executive of the Alcohol Advisory Council said the move comes in response to public concern about the appearance of certain types of `designer' alcoholic drinks in New Zealand.
"Although the worst examples seen overseas have not appeared here there have been a number of products that have caused concern such as those using cartoon characters on their labels. This practice is not acceptable under the new guidelines," Dr MacAvoy said.
"The Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand has coordinated the development of the Guidelines but all industry players have been involved," said Dr MacAvoy.
"The Guidelines forbid such things as graphics, artwork or brand names that draw any association with the drug culture or mimic containers or shapes that are predominantly associated with anti- social or dangerous behaviour. In other countries drinks containers shaped like hypodermic needles and grenades have appeared on the market," he said.
Retailers have agreed to ensure that alcoholic drinks are clearly merchandised as alcoholic products and that it is clear what products are soft drinks and what are alcoholic.
Whilst the Guidelines are not legally enforceable rogue operators would be foolish to breach them according to Dr MacAvoy.
"There has previously been a threat of legislation and if politicians perceive that industry self-policing is not working, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they moved to legislate," he said.
The guidelines are published in booklet form by the Alcohol Advisory Council and can be viewed on the ALAC website at www.alcohol.org.nz/resources/index.html