Greens Push for Alcohol Ad Ban
According to reports in the media, the Greens have indicated their plan to push for a ban on the promotion of alcohol in sport in an effort to close the loophole which is allowing the alcohol industry to “target children” with their alcohol messages.
According to a Greens health spokesperson, Richard Di Natale, the Greens are moving for a Senate inquiry into alcohol promotion to children at the beginning of Parliament.
According to Senator Di Natale, there is growing community concern about the amount of drunken violence and other alcohol fuelled problems which necessitates action at the root of the problem. Addressing the problematic drinking culture is the first step in combatting youth drinking and according to the Greens addressing the loophole in alcohol advertising is one of the first steps.
Currently alcohol advertising is not allowed on television before 8:30pm but during live sporting events this rule doesn’t apply. The Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice dictates that no alcohol advertising during times when kids watch television is allowed, in other words before 8:30pm but during live sporting events, much of the advertising is for alcoholic brands.
Senator Di Natale said this exposure of children to alcohol advertising was placing them at risk. He went on to state:
”A young child who sits down to watch that will be bombarded with messages encouraging them to drink,” he said. ”That’s a huge problem, and that loophole needs to be closed.”
Senator Di Natale said the inquiry would also consider whether a ban or tougher regulations on sports sponsorship were necessary.
“Our major codes continue to promote alcohol consumption to a very young and impressionable audience,” he said.
The Senator went on to urge sporting bodies to follow in the footsteps of the Football A-League and Netball Australia which have refused to accept sponsorships from the alcohol industry.
The Greens aren’t the only ones calling for a ban on alcohol advertising during sporting events. The National Alliance for Action on Alcohol has also been calling for the ban for a long time and Todd Harper, the co-chairman of the alliance has suggested an inquiry be held.
The article went on to quote:
”Given the rates of harm that we’re seeing with young people, we really need to do much better in the way we control promotion of alcohol to young people,” he said.
According to the anti-alcohol advertising campaigners, more than 94 per cent of students between 12 and 17 have seen alcohol advertising on television and much of the advertising is appearing during times when children are watching despite the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice.
Another association backing the ban on alcohol advertising during sporting events is The Public Health Association of Australia. Its spokesman Mike Daube also pushed for an inquiry to be held because major codes were being inundated with alcohol sponsorships.