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Changing how alcohol is marketed online

Creating safe online spaces for our families and communities

We all have the right to use digital technology safely. 

But every day millions of people across Australia, including children, are exposed to relentless digital marketing tactics designed to target their personal vulnerabilities.  

This is especially concerning when harmful and addictive products, like alcohol, are being pushed online.   

We know exposing children and young people to alcoholic product marketing increases the likelihood they will start drinking earlier and drink at risky levels.  

We also know the current online advertising model allows companies to target people based on purchasing data, creating a cycle that makes it difficult if you’re cutting back or have experienced alcohol dependence – the more alcohol you have purchased, the more ads you will be served to trigger your drinking.

Currently there are limited protections in Australia to restrict pervasive marketing tactics. We need strong checks and balances to ensure our families and communities are kept safe from harmful digital marketing practices by alcohol companies. 

Add your name

Our families and communities have limited protections when it comes to pervasive marketing practices in the digital world. 

Add your name to pledge that you’ll stay involved to help protect the health and wellbeing of our community.

In taking this action, you accept FARE’s Privacy Policy and agree to receive occasional emails from us. You can unsubscribe at any time.

"I have noticed a huge increase in ads for alcohol on social media and streaming websites... my mother has an alcohol dependence and to see this type of explicit advertising at a particularly vulnerable time for her and many people is beyond unethical."
- Johana
"I've noticed an increase in alcohol advertising on [streaming services]. As someone who has been proudly sober for 12 years, I wish I could opt out of certain kinds of ads appearing in my playlists as this makes listening to music, something I usually use to soothe me, triggering."
- Alicia
“Ads whilst watching YouTube, as well as advertising at bus stops, and on sports banners. It’s unfair for recovering alcoholics to have to look at a bottle shop every time we enter a supermarket, let alone deal with blocking constant alcohol advertising [online] also.”
- Barbara
“It is disgraceful this issue is not governed more strictly. The same with online gambling. The advertising on TV and social media is criminal and ruining lives & families.”
- Cate
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VIDEO: ‘Our phone has become a bottle shop’

We launched a new report – ‘Alcohol advertising on social media: a 1-year snapshot’ – which reveals how alcohol companies ply our community with thousands of ads on our social media platforms.

Watch Associate Professor Nicholas Carah, who is part of the research team, talk about this report and why governments need to do more to protect Australians from relentless, targeted alcohol marketing. 

VIDEO: ‘Our phone has become a bottle shop’

We launched a new report – ‘Alcohol advertising on social media: a 1-year snapshot’ – which reveals how alcohol companies ply our community with thousands of ads on our social media platforms.

Watch Associate Professor Nicholas Carah, who is part of the research team, talk about this report and why governments need to do more to protect Australians from relentless, targeted alcohol marketing. 

Do you want to share your experience with ads online?

Every day we are bombarded with alcohol advertising. Have you experienced alcohol advertising online? Share how this has affected you, your family or your community. 

(By sharing your experience, you accept FARE’s Privacy Policy and agree to receive occasional emails from us. When using quotes from your submission in policy reports, on our website or on social media, FARE will attribute the quote as First Name, State.)

Research in the spotlight

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Addressing harmful industries’ digital marketing in Australia

Every day we are bombarded with alcohol advertising. Have you experienced alcohol advertising online? Share how this has affected you, your family or your community. 

Child looking at TV

Young Australians and the promotion of alcohol on social media

FARE has partnered with The University of Queensland to undertake a three-year study to better understand how young people are targeted by alcohol companies via social media. The study is using novel computational and machine learning methods to collect and analyse alcohol marketing from more than 480 alcohol pages on social media. The research is supported by an Australian Research Council Linkage Project grant. 

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Digital Youth: An intelligent systems approach to monitor harmful online marketing to children and young adults

FARE is a partner on the #DigitalYouth project being led by the Global Obesity Centre (GLOBE) and the Institute for Health Transformation. The research will use novel methods to develop the first thorough snapshot of youth exposure and engagement with digital marketing in Australia. The research is supported with a grant from The Ian Potter Foundation. 

Learn more about how harmful digital marketing affects our communities

Alcohol advertising on social media platforms – A 1-year snapshot

Experiences with online marketing of alcohol, gambling and unhealthy food: A survey

Advertisements on digital platforms: How transparent and observable are they?

An alcohol ad every 35 seconds

Latest news

Donate

Australians deserve to have a say in the role that alcohol plays in their lives and communities. 

At FARE, we want to amplify community voices about the impact of alcohol, to make sure people are put first when it comes to decisions that affect their health. 

With your support, local advocates and grassroots organisations can create the change they want to see in their communities.