Unveiling the self-regulation in Australia: ABAC’s quarterly Report on Alcohol Advertising

Posted on May 08, 2024 in ABAC, Manipulation, Australia

The Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) has launched their Quarterly Report in which emphasise the importance of proactively educating marketing teams and agencies on responsible alcohol marketing practices. The report highlights the need for education as complaints about alcohol marketing remain steady, and it outlines various options available to prevent it.

In Australia, alcohol advertising is self-regulated by the industry. ABAC is the organisation responsible to promote the marketing of alcohol beverages occurring “responsibly” and consistently with standards of “good practice” via regulation, education and advice.

The alcohol industry often engages in manipulation to shape its public image and protect its brands’ values. While promoting corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and partnerships with public health organizations, including self-regulation, companies may overlook the inherent challenges in self-regulatory practices.

Self-regulation in the alcohol industry involves voluntary adherence to guidelines aimed at promoting “responsible marketing and consumption”. However, this approach frequently falters due to limited enforcement, conflicts of interest, lack of accountability, and challenges posed by evolving digital marketing methods. Advocacy for self-regulation primarily serves the industry’s interests in maintaining autonomy and avoiding stricter government regulations, potentially undermining public health objectives.

The recurring failure of the self-regulatory system to protect children and youth from exposure to alcohol promotions highlights the need for a comprehensive approach.Implementing comprehensive advertising bans to restrict exposure to alcohol marketing represents a cost-effective intervention for reducing alcohol-related harm. By transcending industry preferences and prioritizing public health, regulatory measures can effectively address the harm caused by alcohol advertising on society.

alcohol marketing, Self-Regulation
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