By Clyde Mooney
Community watchdog and alcohol industry representative DrinkWise has proudly announced the introduction of consumer health warnings for alcohol products that is the result of three years of campaigning.
Tuesday (July 12) saw the veil lift on a media blitz that saw the announcement emblazoned across front pages, national TV and radio and even international news.
The initiative is meeting with consider world attention as a pro-active measure against inappropriate and harmful consumption of alcohol.
The core message of ‘Get the Facts’ from the DrinkWise website will be used alone or in conjunction with the other three messages, which are ‘Kids and alcohol don’t mix’, ‘Is your drinking harming yourself or others?’ and ‘It is safest not to drink while pregnant’ with the last alternatively featuring a pictogram.
DrinkWise is calling it the ‘latest initiative in ongoing community education and awareness’, following their campaigns on television, online and through direct print.
The labels will be supported by a point of sale educational leaflet that directs consumers to the DrinkWise education website.
Chair of DrinkWise Australia Board, the Hon. Trish Worth said: “It's widely recognised that labels alone will not change consumer behaviour and that they must be part of broader education initiatives to make an impact– which is why we have coupled the messages with a pointer to our website, and why we will continue to support them through our ongoing educational efforts.
“Education is at the heart of DrinkWise Australia’s activities. Changing our drinking culture so that consuming alcohol too young or to excess is considered undesirable involves greater community awareness about the issues associated with alcohol misuse. We are working to achieve this by providing practical resources that support and inform the community about moderate alcohol use."
Established in 2005 largely through government funding, these days DrinkWise is entirely funded and supported by the alcohol industry.
Responding to criticism that these labels are being introduced as a pre-emptive swipe on stricter alcohol regulation, Worth and industry representatives at the event stated that legislation on matters such as this are not always well received, and the responsible use and monitoring of alcoholic products was ultimately in the best interests of everyone involved with that liquor and hospitality.