8th March 2021, by Jonathan Milne. From Newsroom Pro.

In New Zealand, the latest ruling against the promotion of a boozy day out has alcohol watchdogs frustrated. In fact, the new ruling would ban on alcohol advertising around schools; what Beers and the Basin did to flout such ruling was to place 26 billboards on the fence around the Wellington college and St Mark’s School down the road from a girls’ college. The Advertising Standard Authority uphold a complaint against the billboards.

However, what Dr Nicki Jackson noted was that the problem is rooted in the Advertising Standards Authority’s impotence and inability to impose any penalty behind the removal of the advert.

Inspector Hamish Milne, manager of alcohol harm prevention for NZ Police, said they were increasingly concerned about the promotion of alcohol around big events like Crate Day and Orientation Week at the universities, as well as sports-associated events.

He says, “Just look at O-Week, encouraging extensive drinking. Or the crash pads on all the rugby posts, promoting Tui or Speights, and the five-year-olds learning to play on those fields and exposed to it … It’s not just about what the law says – it’s about a culture of drinking, … We need to address our culture of drinking and harm.”

Justice Minister Kris Faafoi told Newsroom that he believed it would be beneficial to review the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, and he was assessing the ability to do that within what was already a fairly full work programme in the Justice portfolio.

Alcohol Healthwatch, Dr Nicki Jackson also emphazised how ASA’s decisions against Beers and Basin tacitly tolerates the fact that a large number of children have been exposed to alcohol advertising, noting that children are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of alcohol advertising.

By giving another example of ineffective regulations, Dr Jackson reports how the new code on sponsorship allows alcohol sponsorship agreements for teams and events where the audience is at least 80% adults.

He concludes: “New Zealanders continue to be bombarded with advertisements, many of which promote excessive drinking. It is so normalised that we stop recognising it. Or even see it as harmless fun, when it’s not. Especially in relation to our poor mental health stats. Stronger laws, akin to our laws for tobacco and vaping advertising, are required to change the acceptability of excessive promotion of our most harmful drug.”


To read the whole article, click on the following link: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/pro/targeting-irresponsible-alcohol-promos.

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