The alcohol industry- funded and controlled body DrinkWise has been criticised for producing a blatant beer commercial thinly disguised as a public health message.
The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) claims DrinkWise has given up all pretence of being a health promotion organisation with its latest campaign which launches ahead of this weekend’s AFL Grand Final.
The DrinkWise campaign, ‘You won’t miss a moment if you DrinkWise’, is sponsored by Carlton United Breweries and the AFL and features a glass of beer containing digitally animated football players.
FARE Chief Executive, Michael Thorn, says that for a campaign supposedly designed to ‘keep the event in focus and not the drinking’, the advertisement, sponsored by Carlton United Breweries and the AFL, does a great job of keeping the spotlight firmly on both.
“If the aim of the DrinkWise campaign was to further reinforce the relationship between the AFL and beer on the AFL’s biggest day in the year then the advertising creative have done a terrific job. But make no mistake, this is absolutely not a health promotion campaign, it’s a beer ad, despite any claims by DrinkWise to the contrary,” Mr Thorn said.
Mr Thorn says that instead of crafting a more direct and powerful message that would potentially impact on sales, DrinkWise has instead chosen to be deliberately vague with an advertisement that features a glass of beer in every single frame, and digital special effects that only serve to confuse.
“The alcohol industry has clearly spared no expense on the production, but far from ‘missing the action’, the special effects are so good, you’re left with the impression that the drinker has the best seat in the house,” Mr Thorn said.
Mr Thorn says the ad highlights the true nature and aims of DrinkWise, an organisation not only funded, but directly controlled by the alcohol industry.
“The DrinkWise campaign is a great beer ad, but it’s absolutely not a health promotion campaign. It’s an ad that promotes drinking. Unfortunately, this is what happens when the alcohol industry is involved in public health promotion.” Mr Thorn said.
In response to the DrinkWise beer ad, FARE has today launched a social media campaign, Alcohol Truth – Time for the facts on DrinkWise.
The campaign features a video which draws attention to the deficiencies of the DrinkWise commercial, together with background information highlighting the true nature of DrinkWise, its links to the alcohol industry, and its purpose, as a social aspects public relations organisation (SAPRO), to lend credibility to an industry that is responsible for significant harms.