26th October 2022 by Wenlei Ma. From news.com.au
Netflix ads are coming, there’s no way to stop it. But the streamer is under pressure to ban certain ads.
A lobby group has called on Netflix to ban booze ads. Picture: John MacDougall/AFP
Netflix is under pressure to ban booze ads when it launches advertising on its platform in two weeks’ time.
Lobby group the Foundation for Alcohol Rehabilitation and Education (FARE) is calling on the streaming platform to get rid of alcohol ads, as it did gambling ads.
FARE chief executive Caterina Giorgi told news.com.au: “As the world’s biggest streaming platform, Netflix has the chance to set the standard for establishing an ad model that prioritises people’s health and wellbeing.
“Alcoholic products cause harm to so many families and communities around the world. Alcohol causes more than 200 diseases and injuries and claims more than three million lives across the world each year.”
Ms Giorgi pointed to a paper in Addiction which found that the earlier children are exposed to advertising, the more likely they are to start drinking at an earlier age. The paper drew the link from 12 studies which surveyed a collective 35,000 participants across North America, Europe and Asia.
A Netflix Australia spokesperson said alcohol ads will be allowed on the platform in a “restricted capacity” and will have to follow local laws and regulations that govern the category.
There will not be any ads on children’s content nor will there be ads shown on kids’ profiles.
However, Ms Giorgi said that current restriction around alcohol marketing on free-to-air TV and broadcast-video-on-demand platforms such as 7Plus have been “completely inadequate for decades”.
“[It] needs to be reviewed,” she said. “It’s something that health and community advocates have been calling out for years. Alcohol ads aren’t allowed on TV before 8.30pm, but they’re allowed during live sporting broadcasts, which kids watch with their families.
Ms Giorgi said Netflix and other streaming platforms should follow Disney’s approach, which has committed to banning booze ads on its service globally.
Streaming platforms opened a new front in the ad wars when Disney and Netflix both announced they would introduce advertising-supported membership tiers on its platform. Locally, the Australian streaming platform Binge, said last week that it would do the same.
Netflix surprised the market when its co-founder and co-chief executive Reed Hastings in April capitulated after previously ruling out the prospect.
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