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Commissioner says ads highlight effects of alcohol

Monday 7 April 2008

Children's Commissioner says ads highlight effects of alcohol on children

Some of the risks posed to children and young people by binge drinkers are graphically highlighted in the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand's (ALAC) new advertising campaign, Children's Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro said today.

The hard-hitting campaign started last night (Sunday) with television advertising.

"I am heartened to see children and young people have been considered in the planning of this campaign. Some of the issues highlighted include the increased risk of exposure to violence fuelled by drinking, neglect by parents who are drinking and/or hung over and unable to fully participate in their children's lives, potential accidents because of judgement impaired by alcohol and perhaps one of the most insidious, the modelling behaviour of adults," Dr Kiro said.

"Children and young people model the behaviour of the adults in their lives so when I hear about teenage binge drinking being a problem in New Zealand, I can only reiterate that those teenagers learned that behaviour from somewhere.

"I believe it is important that these ads are designed to get New Zealanders thinking about the personal costs of binge drinking ­ to them, and their friends and family. And it is clear this is targeting excessive drinking.

"Our studies show that when parents are made aware of the impact of their behaviour on their children, they are more accepting of the need to change. This is most significant when it comes to family violence and of course, alcohol is a big factor instigating family violence, child abuse and neglect.

"While advertising alone won't change behaviour, the power of this campaign is in raising awareness and informing public debate which will hopefully lead to better education and changes in behaviour passed down from generation to generation."

ENDS

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