Advertising for products that cause substantial harm should be required to follow government-led rules that protect our children, families and broader community.
For over 20 years, the alcohol industry has largely set its own rules for advertising through the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) Scheme. The rules the industry has developed for itself are weak and littered with loopholes. Community complaints are often dismissed, and even when breaches are upheld, there are no consequences.
Dietitians Australia and 46 other public health and consumer organisations refuse to participate in this process of reviewing a scheme which is inherently flawed. No amount of tinkering with the ABAC, which is designed and run by alcohol lobbyists, will ever put the health and wellbeing of our community above the profits of these multinational corporations.
We need strong government-led regulation of alcohol marketing in Australia that is independent of the alcohol industry — a comprehensive legislative framework with enforcement measures that effectively stop harmful alcohol marketing. Many community and health organisations have long recognised and advocated for such an approach.
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This statement was submitted to the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) Scheme and the Department of Health.
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