March 2023; Fare, Australia

There is a copious amount of online advertising being placed by alcohol
companies, with 39,820 distinct alcohol advertisements captured from 351

prominent producers, retailers and venues on Meta platforms in Australia

over a 12-month period. This equates to an average of 765 distinct alcohol

advertisements disseminated per week.

The number of alcohol advertisements showed a seasonal pattern, with December being the most
common time of the year to publish new alcohol advertisements and Christmas and New Year being

major themes in advertising content during this period.

Alcohol producers and retailers disseminated the largest overall number of distinct alcohol
advertisements (27,272 and 8,713 respectively). 30% of all advertisements by alcohol producers

distributed over the 12-month period on Meta platforms were published by one of six multinational

alcohol producers (e.g., Bacardi Limited, Heineken and Diageo). 83% of all advertisements by alcohol

retailers distributed over the 12-month period on Meta platforms were published by one of five large

holding companies (e.g., Coles Group, Endeavor Group and Liquor Marketing Group).

Alcohol advertising on Meta platforms is intrinsically linked to the online sale and delivery of alcohol,
using a direct portal for companies to sell alcohol directly into the home. Most alcohol advertisements

contained a call-to-action button (78%), with 66.7% of alcohol retailer advertisements containing a ‘Shop

Now’ button. This creates a situation where the advertisement becomes the shop front, reducing the

space between advertising exposure and purchasing decisions. This is highly problematic for alcohol

because it is an addictive substance.

The methods developed in this research have enabled insight into the amount and type of content being
distributed by alcohol advertisers on Meta platforms. However, Meta fails to provide information on

advertising targeting, spend and reach of advertisements (except for political advertisements). This

makes it difficult to develop a holistic understanding of alcohol marketing on these platforms, including

understanding how often people are exposed to these advertisements and the ways in which people are

being targeted with alcohol advertising on these platforms.


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