Submission on ANHPA Issues Paper on alcohol advertising

FARE’s submission on the Australian Preventive Health Agency’s (ANPHA) Issues Paper Alcohol Advertising: The effectiveness of current regulatory codes in addressing community concerns makes the case for alcohol marketing reform, and sets out principles for an effective alcohol advertising regulatory regime using a multifaceted approach.

Recommendations

  1. There is a compelling case to reform alcohol marketing control policies in Australia, this includes that:
    I. Alcohol marketing in Australia is pervasive and available in more formats than it has ever has been.
    II. Alcohol marketing affects young people’s attitudes and behaviours.
    III. The current ‘regulatory environment’ for alcohol advertising in Australia is flawed.
    IV. Public messages about alcohol are almost entirely those produced by the alcohol industry.
    V. Australians are concerned about alcohol marketing and supportive of policy reforms.
  2. ANPHA must establish clear objectives for effective alcohol marketing control policies. These objectives should incorporate the following five principles:
    I. Alcohol marketing control policies must aim to reduce the overall volume of alcohol advertising.
    II. Alcohol marketing control policies must ensure that activities are not targeted at young people and are not in places where children and young people are present.
    III. Alcohol marketing control policies must cover all communication formats including advertising, sponsorship, and print and digital, including social media.
    IV. Alcohol marketing regulation must be independently regulated as self-regulation has consistently been found to be ineffective.
    V. The alcohol industry should be required to report their annual expenditure on alcohol marketing activities to Government to inform future policy directions.
  3. Implement a staged approach to alcohol marketing control policy reform in Australia by:
    I. Immediately close the loophole in the Commercial Television Code of Ethics.
    II. Begin working with state and territory governments to strengthen alcohol promotion provisions under liquor legislations.
    III. Implement a counter advertising regime on all alcohol marketing activities.
    IV. Replace the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code with an independent regulatory body.
    V. Phase out alcohol marketing from time and placements which have high exposure to young people.
    VI. Extend the Community Sponsorship Fund through an increase in alcohol taxation with a view to phasing out all alcohol sponsorship.

FARE supports policy reforms that contribute to a reduction in alcohol-related harms in Australia. Our policy work is informed by the evidence of what is most effective in reducing alcohol-related harms. We support the progression of population-based health measures, which take into consideration the far reaching and complex impacts of alcohol-related harms.

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