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ASA surprised by Sale of Liquor Bill

MEDIA RELEASE

Wednesday, 4 May 2005

ASA surprised by Sale of Liquor (Youth Alcohol Harm Reduction) Bill

The Advertising Standards Authority is surprised at the attack on the Authority in Matt Robson’s Private Member’s Bill. If passed, the Bill would shift the jurisdiction of broadcast liquor advertising to the Government Agency, the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

Hilary Souter, Executive Director of the ASA, said “the ASA has administered the self-regulation of broadcast liquor advertising following a request from the Government in 1992. At that time a number of requirements of the ASA system were laid down and all of them have been fulfilled”.

The requirements included holding regular, independent reviews to examine the Code for Advertising Liquor. The ASA has held three reviews since 1992. The last was in 2003 and was chaired by former Governor-General Sir Michael Hardie Boys. Its recommendations were accepted in full by the ASA and a new, tougher code for advertising liquor across all media was promulgated.

“The ASA takes its responsibility towards liquor advertising very seriously -including the provision of a free, efficient and effective complaints service for consumers”.

Ms Souter said that the bill is a direct attack on self regulation at a time when the ASA is assisting the Government in preparing an options paper relating to the regulatory framework for liquor advertising.

“I am disappointed that a Coalition partner to the Government is trying to mount an attack on a system which works well and costs the Government nothing.”

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