30 May 2012
CUB and Alcohol Advertising
Earlier this year a health lobby group in WA established an alcohol advertising complaints process called the Alcohol Advertising Review Board (AARB) to run in parallel to the longstanding Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC).
CUB has received correspondence from AARB about CUB advertisements and has responded by requesting complaints be referred to ABAC. Despite setting 'a target of 20 working days on average for the handling of complaints', no determinations from AARB have been published on correspondence received more than 70 days ago.
Given recent media interest in AARB, CUB has released all correspondence received to date from AARB. CUB will continue to publish correspondence from AARB relating to CUB advertisements and will continue to urge anyone with concerns about alcohol advertising to go through the established ABAC system.
ABAC is a well regarded system for regulating alcohol advertisements that we believe meets community expectations. This can be demonstrated by the fact that less than 4 per cent of advertising complaints received by the Advertising Standards Bureau are about alcohol.
CUB is concerned that the public is being confused on where to complain about alcohol advertisement and therefore are not receiving the appropriate treatment from a well established and professional advertising code.
The Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) covers all alcohol advertising and requires that ads do not encourage excessive consumption; that actors must be over 25 years; all TV ads be independently pre-approved; and all complaints be independently reviewed. In particular, the ABAC provides that advertisements for alcohol beverages must not have strong or evident appeal to children or adolescents.
Alcohol ads are only allowed during in 'M', 'MA' and 'AV' time zones, which are after 8.30pm.The only exception to this is during live sports coverage. This on the basis that the overwhelmingly majority of sports viewers are over 18. For example, an average Saturday afternoon AFL match, 88 per cent of viewers are over 18.
The ABAC Code is not the only set of rules affecting advertising in Australia. Alcohol beverage advertising must also be consistent with other applicable laws and codes, for example:
- the Trade Practices Act and state fair trading legislation;
- the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) Code of Ethics;
- the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice;
- the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice; and
- the Outdoor Media Association Code of Ethics.
For more information please call Jennifer Howard on 0417 306 781 or Jeremy Griffith on 0467 817 142.