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.