Alcohol advertising self-regulation is failing young people
Research from Curtin University and the University of Sydney has shown that self-regulation of alcohol advertising through the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) Scheme is ineffective at protecting young people from alcohol advertising.
The ABAC Scheme is run by the alcohol industry, and recently updated the code to include placement provisions. However, as research makes clear, these new measures have not been particularly effective. Very few complaints have been upheld against the ABAC placement rules, with their narrow scope and interpretation being inadequate for reducing young people’s overall exposure. The ineffectiveness of this system highlights the need for strong, independent and legislated alcohol advertising controls.
The ability for ABAC to regulate advertising has also been weakened by a new ‘no fault breach’ policy, which means that if it seems like the advertiser didn’t mean to break the code, they likely won’t be reprimanded.
Ultimately, although it may appear the alcohol industry is attempting to regulate alcohol marketing, they are still falling well short.