There is a decline in youth drinking, but also a causal link between alcohol marketing and drinking among young people. Therefore, novel alcohol marketing strategies should be scrutinised, particularly where children are exposed. This includes marketing for zero-alcohol products (ZAP) (containing 0.00% to 1.15% alcohol by volume), which has expanded considerably in recent times. This review examines how the current industry-managed regulatory approach to alcohol marketing applies to ZAPs in Western Australia.
The marketing mix (four Ps of marketing: product, promotion, place, price) was used as a framework to examine federal and state government policies and industry managed codes. Policies were included if they applied to marketing of alcohol products, for example, product labelling, promotion and advertising across various media, the place of purchase and pricing measures (taxation).
ZAPs were inconsistently defined, meaning that products between 0.05% and 1.15% alcohol by volume were covered under some but not all alcohol policy measures, and application to products under 0.5% alcohol by volume was limited.
Government policy should more clearly define alcohol marketing and whether ZAPs and other alcohol brand extensions should be treated in the same way as alcoholic products.
In Western Australia, the ways in which alcohol policy measures apply to ZAPs are limited and close attention must be paid to how ZAPs may provide additional marketing opportunities for the alcohol industry.