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‘Worst’ alcohol advert named by critics

A review of a two-litre alcopop bottle on an Australian retailer’s website has been called the “worst alcohol ad of 2014-15”.

Lobbyists have slammed the self-regulation of drinks industry advertising as “ineffective”

The review has been slammed by Australia’s Alcohol Advertising Review Board (AARB), which published its annual report into alcohol advertising in the country this week.

Conducted by health organisations and chaired by Professor Fiona Stanley, the report claimed that self-regulation of alcohol drinks groups’ advertising in Australia is “ineffective” and many producers are “ignoring” concerns about their exposure to young people.

The report also revealed “strong public support” for legislative controls to protect children and young people from exposure to alcohol promotion.

In particular, the AARB identified an online “Customer Review” of an alocopop brand by a writer claiming to be 12-years-old as the worst alcohol ad of the past year.

The body named other “shocking” alcohol adverts, including ads placed near schools, sponsorships of major Australian sports, and “irresponsible” price promotions.

As such, a number of health lobbyists have furthered their calls for legislation to control alcohol advertising and “close the loophole”.

“This report provides yet more evidence that self-regulation of alcohol advertising does not work,” said Michael Thorn, chief executive of Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE).

“Even more disturbing, it highlights the alcohol industry’s relentless drive to normalise the consumption of alcohol by exposing and pushing alcohol to young people, across an ever expanding range of traditional and digital media platforms and merchandising incentives.”

In 2014-15, the AARB received 165 complaints; 92 determinations upheld complaints in full and 17 in part. For the third successive year, the AARB said it received more complaints than the industry’s self-regulatory system.

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