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DESPITE six breaches of the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC), mainly in the placement and social media areas of compliance, the latest Quarterly Report for 2019 shows that all breaches have been rectified by marketers.
“ABAC’s role is to promote and regulate the responsible advertising and marketing of alcohol products in Australia and, where breaches do occur, to rectify those breaches quickly and work with advertisers, marketers and social media platforms to ensure they do not reoccur,” ABAC Chair Harry Jenkins AO explained.
“Breaches can be unintended, often due to smaller alcohol producers or alcohol marketing partners, such as graphic designers or social influencers being unaware of the standards. However, this is still concerning as every player in the marketing chain needs to be aware of their obligations and act responsibly. When a breach occurs ABAC works with the marketer to bring them up-to-speed and remove the offending ad or materials, thereby gaining a valuable understanding of how to market alcohol responsibly.
“More recently, we’ve seen inadvertent breaches in the social media realm, where ongoing confusion and the limitations of the platforms have come to the fore. We are working with Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, both in Australia and internationally, to address concerns we have raised with them.
“This quarter saw six breaches of the Code. Two licensed venues failed to meet content or placement standards for their social media marketing.
“Marketing for K.Booch showed consumption of the product in association with skateboarding. Social media marketing for Corona, by a partner organisation, included under 25-year-olds carrying or wearing Corona signage, while Vodka, Soda & sent product to a 17-year-old social media influencer mistakenly believing she was an adult.
“Two products from Cheeky Monkey Brewery breach packaging and digital media content standards on the basis of strong or evident appeal to minors.
“While any breach is disappointing, the rapid turnaround in addressing ABAC’s rulings by all marketers is welcomed. In each case, marketers acted promptly to comply with ABAC’s determinations by modifying or removing material and undertaking system reviews to ensure compliance.
“In none of the content breaches this quarter or, in fact, over the past two years, had the marketing or packaging been pre-vetted by ABAC. This really does underscore the importance of advertisers making use of ABAC’s Alcohol Advertising Pre-vetting Service.
“Pre-vetting is the easiest, most efficient and best way advertisers and marketers can ensure their promotions are kosher before hitting the marketplace. We encourage all alcohol producers, distributors and retailers to utilise this valuable service.”
ABAC’s Second Quarterly Report for 2019 detailing these and other decisions is available online. More information about the Code is also available at: www.abac.org.au