News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Media Release: Voluntary Code Will Not Protect Us From Harmful Alcohol Marketing.

Oversight of the marketing of alcohol, an addictive drug linked to 800 deaths per year in New Zealand, has been left in the hands of alcohol advertisers and producers by successive Governments. This approach is destined to fail our wellbeing, as seen in the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) latest revision of its voluntary Code for Advertising and Promotion of Alcohol.

The revised code continues its narrow focus on the content and timing of alcohol marketing, amounting to little more than rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Alcohol marketing, including alcohol branding of sports through sponsorships, is appearing any time in our physical and digital environments. Even code-compliant advertising and sponsorship normalises alcohol use and is attractive to both adults and young people.

Professor Jennie Connor, Health Coalition Aotearoa (HCA) spokesperson, says “Making alterations to the ASA Code is little more than a virtue-signalling exercise, given that systems of self-regulation are ineffective in reducing marketing’s contribution to alcohol-related harm”.

The evidence is clear that more exposure to alcohol marketing lowers the age at which young people first drink and increases the amount they drink. Worse, the current system fails the Crown’s responsibility to protect Maaori health. HCA spokesperson David Ratuu says “The Advertising Standards Authority has failed to address the concerns of Maaori in the review of their Standards and Code, especially around alcohol. Evidence is clear that Maaori rangatahi, tamariki and mokopuna are exposed more to harmful alcohol advertising than any other demographic and yet, Maaori were never consulted on the standards or Code. The Standards and Code are biased, one-sided and racist”.

It is irrational to expect the ASA, representing alcohol advertisers and producers, can or will effectively restrict promotion of alcohol when its members have a substantial financial reliance on harmful drinking; 46% of all alcohol in New Zealand is consumed in heavy drinking episodes.

For these reasons, a wide variety of groups joined us in boycotting the ASA code review. We now offer our full support to the new Government to develop effective restrictions on alcohol marketing in legislation, as recommended by the New Zealand Law Commission in 2010, the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship in 2014, the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction in 2019, and the World Health Organisation. An effective response to alcohol marketing is well overdue.

Health Coalition Aotearoa is an alliance of health and consumer non-governmental organisations, academics, professional associations and individuals who are experienced in public health and passionate about the wellbeing of all New Zealanders.

For more information:

Regulation of alcohol marketing is needed to meet health, wellbeing and equity goals

Public Health Expert blog 16 December 2020:

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>

Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>

Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland