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Alcohol Awareness Week: New research released

Roy Morgan Research that The Salvation Army commissioned as part of its annual Alcohol Awareness Week reveals that Australians believe there needs to be a major re-think of alcohol advertising and promotion.

The Salvation Army says that alcohol and sport have become too closely related in Australia and 72% of respondents to Salvation Army commissioned research agree with them. Just as tobacco advertising was banned, 67% say that it is time to start phasing out alcohol sponsorship of sport.

The new research also reveals:

  • 70.3 % say the amount of alcohol advertising and promotion young people under 25 see encourages them to drink more.
  • 78% indicate concern that alcohol companies are using social media to advertise and promote their products to young people under 25.
  • 72.1% believe the alcohol industry should not be allowed to continue to regulate itself with regard to the advertising and promotion of alcohol.
  • 60.1% of people aged 18-34 think that the amount of alcohol advertising and promotion young people under 25 are exposed to encourages them to drink more.

The Salvation Army calls on the Federal Government to prioritise a review of the advertising of alcohol and its impact on children and young people, based on the significant level of community concern demonstrated by this new survey. The Salvation Army calls for more effective measures to be put in place to reduce the harm being caused.

The Salvation Army’s Kathryn Wright said, “We see, every day, the extensive damage that alcohol consumption often causes to individuals and families.

“Alcohol Awareness Week is not an anti-drinking initiative. We want to see Australians empowered to make smart choices about alcohol use. We are deeply concerned that the high level of alcohol promotion and advertising has a negative impact on those choices.”

Some of the policy directions that have already been discussed or implemented in other countries include the banning of alcohol sponsorship in sport and the banning or restricting of alcohol advertising during sporting telecasts.

“Australia is a sporting nation. The Salvation Army is calling for a re-think about how alcohol fits into this culture,” said Ms Wright.

A range of prominent health professionals and major organisations are backing The Salvation Army’s Alcohol Awareness Week 2013.  

Brian Vandenberg, The Executive Officer of the National Alliance for Action on Alcohol says that for the sake of young people – it’s time to end alcohol advertising in sport.

“Televised sport is saturated with alcohol advertising which raises huge concerns about the health and wellbeing of young people. Young people who regularly see alcohol advertising are more likely to start drinking at a young age,” said Mr Vandenberg.

Alcohol Awareness Week is a Salvation Army initiative designed to stimulate discussion about the impact of alcohol use on society.

Each week, The Salvation Army assists more than 500 people who find themselves addicted to alcohol and other drugs. For more information about addiction services or if you know someone facing addiction, please call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or visit salvationarmy.org.au.

 

Research details: The survey was conducted online with a national sample of 1,001 people aged 18 and over, randomly drawn from Roy Morgan Research’s OzPanel, between 18-23 September 2013. The research was commissioned by The Salvation Army.

 

For further information or media comment please contact:

Media Key
T. 03 9769 6488

Dr Bruce Redman– Territorial Media Relations Director
The Salvation Army – Australia Southern Territory (Vic., SA, Tas., WA & NT)
T. 03 8878 2448
M. 0417 537 950