By James Atkinson

Beam Australia has dismissed a reproach for its Jim Beam promotions in the first report by the industry-discredited Alcohol Advertising Review Board (AARB).

The establishment of the AARB earlier this year by WA-based health campaigners was roundly condemned by the liquor industry.

In its first report handed down this week, few liquor industry players avoided censure by the self-styled watchdog, with Carlton and United Breweries, Accolade Wines, Diageo Australia, Lion, Suntory Australia, Woolworths, Thirsty Camel, Independent Distillers and Chilli Marketing all rating a mention. 

But AARB chair Professor Fiona Stanley said the board had a "special concern" about advertising by the Jim Beam brand, which she said had attracted the most complaints for "irresponsible" marketing to young people.

In response, Beam Global managing director – Oceania, Steve Inch, told TheShout that Beam Australia "does not acknowledge that the AARB has any standing, nor do we have any confidence that an objective analysis of the complaints raised will be provided". 

"Accordingly, Beam declines to participate in the AARB assessment process," he said.

Inch said Beam Australia is a key signatory to the Alcohol Beverage Advertising Code Scheme (ABAC), which has government and widespread industry participation as well as the support of various key media organisations.

"We are fully and consistently committed to the responsible marketing of alcohol and recommend that the AARB invite any complainants to lodge their complaint with ABAC in order that it may be considered in accordance with that Code," he said.

"In addition, as a member of the Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia (DSICA), we rigorously provide multiple layers of training throughout the year including marketing code workshops and engagement with the ABAC seminars organised through DSICA, to continue to enhance our excellent standard of engagement and adherence to the ABAC system in all of our marketing and promotional activities," Inch said.

"We are confident that Jim Beam is marketed appropriately and intend to continue responsibly marketing Jim Beam products to consumers above the legal drinking age in accordance with the recognized code of ABAC."

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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