Packaging and social marketing key for ABAC

12 October, 2020 by Andy Young

The Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) has released its latest quarterly report which shows continued high levels of activity with 53 new complaints and 23 determinations.

ABAC Chair Harry Jenkins AO said ABAC has seen a higher number of breaches over the last 12 months, and that the most notable increases were related to packaging and social marketing.

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“Over the past 12 months the Panel found 15 alcohol labels in breach of ABAC standards, up from four in the previous 12 months, with most of the breaches relating to the prohibition on alcohol packaging having strong or evident appeal to under 18s,” Jenkins said.

In the most recent quarter packaging was the most common standard breached across marketing types, attributable to five breaches of product packaging.

Jenkins added: “In light of this trend, ABAC engaged Youth Insight to provide observations on the themes, designs and imagery that 14-17 year olds find strongly appealing and unappealing in product marketing.  This valuable work will assist ABAC Panelists and Pre-vetters in assessing alcohol marketing communications against the relevant ABAC standard and has been used to update the ABAC Guidance Notes and Alcohol Packaging Compliance Guide to assist alcohol marketers meet this standard.

“ABAC strongly encourages all alcohol companies, their marketing staff, agencies and designers to proactively take measures to achieve compliance with responsible alcohol marketing standards, with particular attention to packaging and social marketing.

“ABAC’s pre-vetting service remains the easiest and most efficient way for marketers to ensure their promotions and packaging are responsible before hitting the marketplace. Pre-vetting may be undertaken by both signatories and non-signatories and we encourage all alcohol producers, distributors and retailers to utilise this valuable service.”

Jenkins said that ABAC website includes a variety of resources to help alcohol marketers understand what they can and can’t do when marketing alcohol (Guidance Notes/Alcohol Packaging Compliance Guide/Best Practice Guide for Digital Alcohol Marketing).

He added that ABAC’s free annual industry webinar (coming up in November) is compulsory viewing for anyone involved in alcohol marketing in Australia.