Alcohol is one of the most heavily promoted products in the world. It is encouraging to see that alcohol advertising is becoming a prominent issue on the New South Wales (NSW) Parliament’s agenda as alcohol advertising contributes to the normalisation of alcohol use and reinforces the harmful drinking culture that currently exists in Australia.
The NSW ACT Alcohol Policy Alliance (NAAPA) welcomed the opportunity to respond to the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Prohibition Bill 2015 (the Bill) and the Terms of Reference. This NAAPA submission draws on the research literature about the pervasive nature of alcohol advertising and its contribution to alcohol harm.
While the regulation of alcohol advertising is largely the responsibility of the Commonwealth, there are numerous actions that can be taken at the state level to reduce the harmful and pervasive nature of alcohol advertising in NSW.
In this submission, NAAPA sends a strong message that the phased removal of alcohol advertising in NSW is needed in order to reduce the incidence of alcohol harm.
- That the Committee recommends an immediate review of the Liquor Promotion Guidelines and standardise regulations across all platforms.
- That the Committee recommends legislating the banning of shopper dockets and other harmful price discounting mechanisms under the Liquor Act 2007.
- That the Committee recommends the removal of alcohol advertising from all NSW public property, including sporting facilities, public transport, bus shelters and train stations.
- That the Committee recommends the phased removal of alcohol sponsorship and advertising from sporting and cultural events.
- That the Committee recommends, following the completion of the Rebuilding the Stadia Network Strategy, the NSW Government not allow sponsorship and advertising of alcohol and other unhealthy industries, such as gambling, at the stadiums.
- That the Committee recommends that alcohol advertising regulation is standardised, legislated and independent of the alcohol and advertising industries.
- That the Committee recommends that sponsorship is a form of advertising and subject to alcohol advertising regulation.
- That the Committee recommends the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Prohibition Bill 2015 remain the responsibility of the Ministry for Health.
- That the Committee recommends the regulatory Alcohol Advertising Prohibition Committee be established independent of alcohol and advertising industry involvement.
- That the Committee recommends that local option areas be considered under the Liquor Act 2007 and that an independent Community Defenders Office be established to empower and support local communities in licensing matters.
- That the Committee recommends the introduction of health warning labels, in particular pregnancy warning labels be mandatory for all alcohol products.