New research which aimed to discover public perceptions of alcohol marketing has found recent rulings under the ABAC Responsible Alcohol Marketing Code (ABAC) to be in-line with community standards.

Surveying 1500 people to explore current public perceptions of alcohol marketing and whether decisions made by the ABAC Complaints Panel align with the understanding of the ‘reasonable person’, JWS Research expanded on prior research undertaken in 2013 and 2017.

Of the fourteen advertisements tested, complaints about eight of those advertisements had been upheld by ABAC and six had been dismissed. However, only two of the fourteen advertisements were considered unacceptable by the majority of community respondents prior to being exposed to the Code standards. 

When testing whether Code standards had been applied by the Panel consistently with how they would have been applied by a majority within the community, the Panel had alignment with the community on all but one of the advertisements, which it conservatively upheld.

“This confirms the high standards the ABAC Responsible Alcohol Marketing Code sets for alcohol marketing in Australia,” Chair of The ABAC Scheme, Harry Jenkins AO, said.

“ABAC is committed to maintaining the high standards set by the Code for alcohol marketing in Australia and will use the research to assist in its periodic reviews and ongoing evaluation of the Code’s standards and effectiveness.”

Most respondents (60 per cent) said they have had no concerns about alcohol advertising, labelling or packaging over the last 12 months. Less than one-third (29 per cent) said they are concerned, with only seven per cent ‘very concerned’.

Professor Michael Lavarach, the Chief Adjudicator of the ABAC Panel has spoken to The Bloody Big Drinks Summit about the history of the scheme, the panel’s independence and adjudication process.

Head to The Bloody Big Drinks Summit website for more information and to buy your ticket.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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