The Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code’s (ABAC) Chair, Hon Tony Smith has called on alcohol marketers to make sure they are using the resources, checklists and pre-vetting service that ABAC provides especially after a new Code began in August this year.

The ABAC was reviewed and strengthened earlier this year and the new Code began to apply from 1 August 2023. 

Key changes include:

  • Stronger placement restrictions, including a higher adult audience requirement (80%) before an alcohol ad can be placed with a programme, and greater restrictions around direct marketing to protect the vulnerable;
  • Extension of the Code to no and very low alcohol styled beverages;
  • Clearer restrictions preventing alcohol being positioned as a coping mechanism or negatively portraying the choice to abstain.

“The new Code is stronger and provides greater clarity around emerging concerns raised by the public through the complaints system,” Smith said

“Last quarter the most common cause of a breach of Code standards was showing alcohol use alongside swimming in a pool.

“The ABAC Panel continue to receive complaints about ads showing alcohol use before or during swimming. The community is concerned about this issue due to the increased risk associated with these activities after alcohol has been consumed and this continues as a key provision in the new Code.

“ABAC complaints and determinations have increased while pre-vetting requests have had a 10 per cent decrease when compared with the same quarter last year.  ” ABAC Chair Hon Tony Smith noted

“ABAC Panel determinations provide helpful guidance to alcohol companies when developing ads and packaging, and I encourage marketers to make use of the wide range of free resources and checklists on the ABAC website and to use the ABAC pre-vetting service as an independent check that their ads and packaging are meeting responsible alcohol marketing standards.”

Information about the new Code and the services available to alcohol marketers is available on the ABAC website.

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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