Ban booze ads near kids, urge health groups

The Age (Australia) November 7, 2010
Public health campaigners in Australia are calling for bottle shop exclusion zones around schools and a ban on alcohol advertising on public transport to prevent children from being bombarded with ”insidious” alcohol marketing. The Australian Drug Foundation and the Public Health Association are among groups claiming the alcohol industry is bombarding children with promotion in every area of their lives and resorting to devious methods. At a recent Melbourne summit they cited examples including a bottle shop in Sunshine with billboards for discounted alcopops that directly face a high school entrance; a New South Wales pub crawl bus bearing the Bundy rum bear logo, which also doubles as a school bus for grade 4 excursions; and a Johnnie Walker online competition inviting visitors of any age to choose their favourite Australian cricket dream team, despite the whisky’s brand being prominently displayed multiple times. Geoff Munro, policy director at the Australian Drug Foundation, said research showed early exposure to alcohol advertising was directly linked to harmful drinking habits later in life. READ MORE

Unfortunately our politicians are unwilling to tackle the issue of alcohol advertising in their response to the Law Commission review on alcohol. Do they think that advertising doesn’t influence behaviour? Advertising is just one factor driving our binge drinking culture, but it’s an important one.