Wednesday 15th, 2022 by Stephanie Parnell. From Croakey Health Media

Stephanie Parnell, Alcohol Policy and Research Coordinator at Cancer Council WA, explains how the marketing of alcohol-health raises questions regarding misinformation.

She analyzes how marketing is the one domain where the law should forbid false, misleading and deceptive advertising. Still, we are being constantly exposed to marketing and products commercial, alcohol products included.

Since alcohol is indeed a leading risk factor for injury, disease, disability and death around the world, Stephanie Parnell claims that Australians want to know about alcohol-related health harms, together with reliable information on how such products impacts their lives.

The Australian Alcohol Guidelines recommend that “To reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury, healthy men and women should drink no more than 10 standard drinks a week and no more than 4 standard drinks on any one day”.

For instance, this advice, Stephanie Parnell explains, is muddied by the conflicting and highly appealing message, promoted by the alcohol industry, that alcohol can benefit one’s social, emotional, mental, and physical health.

Additionally, the alcohol industry has tremendous budget and scope to regularly reach the public with attractive and persuasive pro-alcohol messages – including messages suggesting alcohol is good for health. Alcohol marketing is pervasive in all media, and even hits us via direct text message and email .

She continues by explaining that the images and messages we see associated to alcohol depict it as a social lubricant, “an elixir to elevate mood”, or as a survival tool to help relax and cope with kids coming home from school, a hard day at work, or the stresses of living through a pandemic.

It is a right to be fully and well-informed about product information and health-related consequences of alcohol consumption.


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