Gabrielle Becerra Mellet PerthNow Local News; 12-12-2023

A ginger beer and wine company has apologised after a sign advertising their beverages appeared directly opposite a primary school in Perth’s southeast, infuriating parents and health advocates.Mum Emma Groves first noticed the advertisement for Stone’s ginger beer drinks last week while dropping off her daughters at Maddington Primary School. “It doesn’t make sense. We’re trying to teach kids not to drink alcohol and then it’s right next to a school,” she said.

“I think it just normalises alcohol drinking and the kids just see the wrong thing and think that’s a part of life when we’re trying to tell them the opposite.” Under Outdoor Media Association guidelines, members must not advertise alcoholic products within a 150m sightline from the boundary of a school.

The ad causing outrage in Maddington.

The Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code also stipulates alcohol marketing cannot be within a 150m sight line of a primary or secondary school. Ms Groves said she wanted the Maddington advertisement removed — something Stones said would happen when it was made aware of the issue by PerthNow this week. “I mean, this is a bus stop that’s got kids catching the bus to school,” Ms Groves said. “It’s got community, it’s got families (around). “I just don’t think alcohol belongs on bus stops.”

Cancer Council WA alcohol program manager Julia Stafford said the advertisement location highlighted how codes of conduct are failing to restrict the liquor industry. While licenses and their licensees are beholden to the Liquor Control Act, Ms Stafford said specific advertising restrictions were merely voluntary codes. “We have very weak, very minimal controls on alcohol marketing in Australia, which is why we’re seeing ads like this one in full exposure to kids and young people,” she said. “These codes are run by the industry, they have no proactive monitoring system.

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