ANZA Rejects Alcohol Advertising & Sponsorship Recommendations

4:17 PM, 27 January 2015

Alcohol Advertising In a report to Government released in December, the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising & Sponsorship (MFAAS) submitted recommendations to ban sponsorship by alcohol brands and further restrict alcohol advertising. ANZA objects that said recommendations are poorly thought through and fail to recognise significant global evidence that such bans have failed.

Despite recognising the need for targeted initiatives toward problem drinking, these recommendations would have, at best, very limited impact on alcohol related harm while disproportionately affecting responsible New Zealanders who enjoy a wide range of sport, arts, and cultural events.

Advertising and sponsorship bans have been internationally proven to be ineffective in addressing harmful drinking. ANZA is disappointed that the Forum has failed to recognise that the strongest influences on drinking behaviour, for young people, are friends and family. By contrast, advertising is one of the least influential factors.

New Zealand’s co-regulatory approach, combining existing legislation together with the Advertising Standards Authority’s Codes, was recognised by the Forum and provides a strong framework which protects the public while allowing alcohol advertisers to communicate responsibly to consumers.

Alcohol advertising is already heavily curtailed. Legally it can only show responsible drinking and target adult audiences. Reinforcing sociable and responsible approaches to drinking is an important part of role-modelling a positive drinking culture.

ANZA welcomes the Government’s recognition that the important provisions of recent alcohol legislation (the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012) must be given time to demonstrate their impact in the community. The reduced blood alcohol levels for drivers, limits on advertising of price discounts, limits on the content of advertising, plus the local alcohol policies, are all important initiatives which have only just been introduced into law. These need more time to take effect before their efficacy can reasonably be assessed.

And as always, ANZA welcomes your feedback and questions you may have about Industry issues to lindsay@anza.co.nz.

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