Australia's Self-Regulated Alcohol Advertising Scheme
Alcohol advertising in Australia is currently self-regulated under a scheme managed by the alcohol and advertising industries.
The Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) is the alcohol-specific advertising code of practice.
We believe there are numerous deficiencies in the current system and how it's implemented:
- The system is voluntary, which means the ABAC does not necessarily cover the whole alcohol industry;
- The ABAC Scheme is not empowered to penalise advertisers who breach the codes;
- The ABAC Scheme only deals with the content, not the placement, of advertisements. Placement is handled in an incomplete and inconsistent manner under a number of other codes;
- The ABAC Scheme does not define the term 'advertisement';
- The ABAC Scheme only covers certain forms of direct advertising - it does not cover sponsorship, gift with purchase, or product placement;
- The ABAC Scheme lags behind new media - it does not effectively cover social media, which is a major channel for alcohol advertising campaigns; and
- Making a complaint is difficult, confusing, and the process moves slowly in comparison with the fast-moving world of advertising campaigns.
In the Alcohol Advertising Review Board's view, the current system has consistently failed to ensure that alcohol is promoted responsibly and that young people's exposure to alcohol advertising is minimised.
The Alcohol Advertising Review Board was developed in response to the weaknesses identified in the existing self-regulatory system. We want to make the complaints process as easy as possible for the community, and we endeavour to reach a commonsense outcome that is socially responsible.
Want to know more about ABAC and alcohol advertising regulation in Australia? Check out 'Alcohol Advertising: Ten Shockers'.