LGA: Alcohol availability, sponsorship and advertising

Policy Objective

ABC Council believes that the community should have control over how alcohol is marketed and sold to its citizens. ABC Council is committed to ensuring that activities at sporting and community venues owned or leased by Council align with the objectives outlined in our Public Health and Wellbeing Plan/Council plan to support the health and wellbeing of our community and promote environmental sustainability.

This policy specifically relates to the promotion and advertising of alcohol products.

Policy Rationale

Sport and community settings provide councils with an opportunity to promote health and improve the wellbeing of their local communities. The alcohol industry spends millions of dollars annually on advertising and marketing its products. Children and young people are particularly vulnerable to these messages as they are surrounded by alcoholic products on social media, TV and through the sponsorship of their local sporting clubs.

Sports sponsorship is one of many ways that the alcohol industry promotes their products to influence purchasing decisions and drive sales. Research has shown that the marketing of these products influences the way we consume them and makes these brands and products much more recognisable across the community. A study of 10 to 12‐year‐olds found there was a high awareness of alcohol products and brands advertised during a sporting broadcast, and that children were aware of celebrity endorsement of products and associated them with a preference for these products.

Long‐term studies have shown that 12‐year‐olds who are highly exposed to alcohol advertising are 50% more likely to start drinking when they are 13, compared to those who are only slightly exposed.46 Studies consistently demonstrate that exposure to alcohol advertising has a direct correlation with the likelihood that adolescents will start to drink alcohol and, if they already drink alcohol, their drinking will increase with such exposure.

We need to protect young people and kids from alcohol industry marketing. Therefore, this policy is designed to support high standards for how alcohol products are promoted and sold in council owned facilities such as sporting and community clubs.

Policy Application

When a Council owned facility is leased or hired the applicant must:

  • prohibit all alcohol sponsors and advertisers, whether these be on kits, on ground, on equipment or electronic
  • prohibit all alcohol signage and promotional materials which are in plain view to the general public including signs that are visible externally from buildings or outside designated licensed premises or licensed areas within a premises
  • where alcohol is to be available, served, sold or supplied, provide a full range of non-alcoholic alternatives and low strength alcohol options. Free water is to be available at licensed premises at all times
  • ensure that where there is alcohol product branding it is limited to the point of sale
  • ensure alcoholic products are served in standard-sized drink portions
  • ensure promotions or event names that glamorise getting drunk or imply that getting drunk is desirable are not available onsite e.g. providing drinks or cocktails with names that imply they will get you drunk
  • ensure that the supply and availability of alcohol does not occur at or within the direct view of family and children. This includes Council buildings such as community centres, where

principal activities involve participation of families and children, or other sensitive community land use activities.

The Council may request further information regarding sponsorship profile, sponsorship support, activation strategies or advertising as required.

Throughout the contract, the ABC Council agreement requires the applicant to seek approval from the Council prior to entering into any new arrangements with alcohol companies or brands.

The following minimum requirements must be incorporated into an organisational health policy to be implemented by all sponsored organisations as a condition of sponsorship:

  • low-strength alcohol and non-alcoholic products must be available should alcohol products be available at activities or events, with free water available at all times
  • no activities or promotions that encourage rapid consumption of alcohol products (e.g. discounted drink prices, happy hours, drinking competitions), should alcohol products be available at activities or events.

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