Related Articles


  1. 1


    Hang in there, guys. I have just seen the news that one of this year’s sponsors of the Canberra Raiders NRL team will be ‘Local Liquor’, whose name will be emblazoned on the players’ shorts. Alcohol sponsorship advertising will be the next big battle and is likely to be much more difficult than it was for tobacco.

  2. 2
    Melissa Sweet

    Melissa Sweet

    The Australian Association of National Advertisers asked for this response to be posted:

    Response from Alina Bain, Acting CEO of the AANA to Crikey’s blog: ‘Naming and shaming irresponsible alcohol advertisers’ by Rebecca Johnson, Policy Advisor, Cancer Council WA, 9 August 2012

    In response to Rebecca Johnson’s claim that the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) “jumped the gun” in calling for the “disbandment” of the Alcohol Advertising Review Boards (AARB), the AANA did not jump the gun it was simply stating the fact that AARB failed to deliver what it had promised when it had promised.

    Ms Johnson also states that the AARB received in its first three months 63 complaints. What is not disclosed is that the AARB is committed to tearing down the current system and clearly believes that the end justifies the means. It used its own networks and fellow travellers to generate anonymous complaints. AARB then adjudicated on the same complaints.

    The AARB system set itself up as legislator, plaintiff, judge and jury. It developed its own self-serving codes without any community consultation and is adjudicating complaints from within its own ranks – when they launched the AARB they misled the public as to its true purpose. They claimed it was an “independent alternative” to the current advertising complaints system, it is neither independent nor an alternative. It is simply a PR stunt with no ability whatsoever to resolve complaints.

    The current self-regulatory system is effective and is underpinned by a responsive and transparent complaints handling system, unlike the AARB. It is a system that delivers responses to consumer complainants within 30 days and covers all forms of advertising, including new media.

    Readers may actually find it interesting that Advertising Standards Bureau records show that alcohol advertising accounts for just 3.78% of all complaints. The low level of consumer complaints about alcohol advertising demonstrates the system is delivering for the public.

  3. 3
    Melissa Sweet

    Melissa Sweet

    PS from Melissa

    The comment about the AANA appearing to have “jumped the gun” was made by me in the introduction – and not by Rebecca Johnson.

    Readers may also be interested in this article, saying that Bacardi Lion has cooperated with the AARB, removing a bus stop ad for Bacardi’s Eristoff Vodka brand that was near a children’s playground.

  4. 4

    Julia Stafford

    In response to Alina Bain’s comment:

    It’s great to hear from AANA on this issue and heartening that they were so eager to see what the Alcohol Advertising Review Board had to say. It appears the AARB may have pinched a nerve.

    It is no secret that organisations involved with the AARB – the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth, the Cancer Council Western Australia and other health groups – believe that there is a need for strong, independent, legislated controls on alcohol advertising to ensure it is socially responsible and that young people’s exposure to alcohol promotion is minimised. The AANA may see this as “tearing down the current system”, but they and their members clearly have an interest in promoting self-regulation.

    The AARB content code described by Ms Bain as “self-serving” was derived from the alcohol and advertising industries’ own endorsed codes from Australia and elsewhere. One would have thought this code would have the industry’s blessing, as its key components were theirs to begin with!

    I find it puzzling that Ms Bain interprets the 3.78% figure to mean that the Advertising Standards Bureau is “delivering for the public”. Could it be that few people even know the Advertising Standards Bureau exists? Could it also be that people have legitimate concerns about how their complaints could be effectively addressed by a self-regulatory system?

    For those who prefer to have their complaints about alcohol advertising reviewed by people and processes independent of the alcohol and advertising industries, they will find such a service at

    Julia Stafford, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2015 – 2020 Croakey | Website: Rock Lily Design


Follow Croakey