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Alcohol ads are more common than drop punts

26 September 2013

AMA Victoria is calling for the alcohol advertising exemption for live sport broadcasts to be revoked, and warns that Victorian children will face an onslaught of alcohol marketing during Saturday’s AFL Grand Final celebrations.

Alcohol advertising is prohibited during daytime TV because children are a prime audience, however the live broadcast of sporting events on weekends and public holidays are exempt. As a result, children are inundated with alcohol exposure.

AMA Victoria Vice President Tony Bartone has labelled the exemption as socially irresponsible.

“We don’t allow any other addictive and harmful products to be marketed during children’s viewing times, so why should alcohol be any different? Especially when research shows the more a child is exposed to alcohol advertising, the earlier they will start drinking and they will drink more in the long term,” Dr Bartone said.

The 2012 Grand Final was viewed by 3.196 million people, and each year it is often in the top five most watched programs for children. With such a large (and often young) audience watching the game, AMA Victoria is calling for an end to alcohol advertising during live sport broadcasts.

Research commissioned by Cancer Council Australia found that during last year’s Grand Final, 17.7 per cent of the total TV broadcast time was devoted to various forms of alcohol advertising.

“Advertising can have a profound effect on people’s attitudes towards alcohol and research has found that advertising has caused young people to associate alcohol with having fun. What these ads don’t show is the trauma that alcohol can cause,” Dr Bartone said.

“Hospital emergency departments are often filled with alcohol-related injuries from car crashes, violence, fractures and lacerations. The long terms harms of alcohol consumption include cancer, liver damage, heart disease, brain damage, depression, dementia and addiction” Dr Bartone said.

“Alcohol-related health problems are extremely serious, and can be fatal. There should no advertising glorifying and normalising this behaviour to young people, as this reinforces the harmful drinking culture that exists in Australia and damages lives. The barrage of alcohol ads need to stop,” Dr Bartone said.

AMA Victoria is calling on state and federal governments to support a ban on alcohol advertising during children’s viewing hours and is urging Victorians to drink responsibly this Grand Final weekend.


Media contact:
Felicity Ryan
Australian Medical Association Victoria
Media & Public Affairs
Telephone: (03) 9280 8753
Mobile: 0437 450 506

Alcohol Advertising Review Board, Annual Report 2012 – 13.
Cancer Council of Australia, Alcohol Advertising in Televised Broadcasts of Australian Football Finals Series, 2013.
Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, Marketing and Promotion section, viewed September 2013
Australian Drug Foundation, GrogWatch, viewed September 2013

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