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Supply means supply: Measuring the effectiveness of an underage drinking intervention targeting secondary supply



  1. Implementation of the Campaign
  2. NSW Police Force
  3. Independent Evaluation
  4. Professor Sandra Jones, University of Wollongong
  5. Dr Heidi Gilchrist, University of Wollongong
  6. Parri Gregory, University of Wollongong
  7. Lance Barrie, University of Wollongong


‘Supply Means Supply’ was a multi-faceted program led by the NSW Police Force that included in-schools education, media advertising, marketing through signage in and around licensed premises with increased police liquor-licensing enforcement targeting the secondary supply of alcohol to children. ‘Secondary supply’ is defined as the supply of alcohol to minors by persons other than licensees/staff employed by licensed premises.

The campaign sought to reduce the supply of alcohol to minors by informing the community about what constitutes secondary supply and by emphasising the illegality of secondary supply and the considerable financial penalties associated with it.  Parents and community members aged 25 to 54 years were the primary target audience, with 18 to 24 year-olds a secondary target group.

Supply Means Supply involved a multimedia campaign run from the week commencing 13 December 2009 to the end of February 2010, and involved television commercials, radio commercials, press, in-store advertising, posters and online advertisements.

The campaign was trialled in 15 Local Area Commands (LACs) including: Eastern Beaches, Miranda/ Sutherland, Penrith/St Marys, Campbelltown/Macquarie Fields, Brisbane Water/Tuggerah, Orana (Dubbo), Goulburn, Griffith, Richmond (Lismore area), Mid North Coast (Port Macquarie area) and Wollongong. The trial sites were chosen on the basis of demographic diversity, and the extent of underage alcohol-related antisocial behaviour.


An evaluation undertaken by the University of Wollongong found that only 12 per cent of respondents ‘probably’ or ‘definitely’ saw the campaign, making it difficult to ascertain the true success of the campaign. However following the campaign, adults were significantly less likely to report being willing to purchase alcohol for a 17-year-old for most of the scenarios they were presented with, demonstrating that there was some impact on attitudes.


The evaluation made recommendations on how to improve the implementation of campaigns in the future. Such recommendations are valuable for the promotion of the current secondary supply laws or any changes to the secondary supply laws in the future.

Recommendations included that, in the future, the campaign should:

  • aim for a longer duration and higher intensity to increase community exposure to the message;
  • provide more information about the laws and penalties;
  • be run during the school term, and include school based education components;
  • be run at a time when officers are less involved in other holiday operations, and  allow sufficient consultation to ensure the integration of the campaign into police enforcement activities;
  • be specific about which aspects of supply are illegal and emphasise how provision of alcohol to their child could result in the supply of alcohol to other minors;
  • pre-test future campaign materials in order to ensure the message is clear and that the right message is being conveyed; and
  • recognise and work with other organisations who are trying to change the cultural and social norms around alcohol consumption.

Additional resources

  1. NSW Police Force Supply Means Supply webpage
  2. Three advertisements were uploaded on Youtube by NSW Police Force:


Recent research papers

FARE continues to fund and undertake research that contributes to the knowledge-base about alcohol harms and strategies to reduce them.

This research is used to inform our approach to evidence-based alcohol policy development, ensuring that the solutions we are advocating for are informed by research. FARE’s research is also often quoted by governments, other not-for-profit organisations and researchers in public discussions about alcohol, demonstrating that FARE is seen as a leading source of information.

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