Australian brewers pan newly formed Alcohol Advertising Review Board

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 19th March 2012

Just days after it was launched, Australia’s new Alcohol Advertising Review Board (AARB) has come under fire from the Brewers Association of Australia and New Zealand, an industry group representing Australian manufacturing brewers.

The AARB, which was launched on Friday 16 March 2012, was developed by the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth and Cancer Council WA, in association with several other support organisations.

Today, the Brewers Association said the AARB is an “unnecessary white elephant” that will not only create public confusion, but it will also divert funds from targeted interventions to resolve alcohol misuse in Australia.

In a media statement, Brewers Association CEO, Mrs Denita Wawn said, “Australia already has a robust self-regulatory, government-recognised, model for alcohol advertising, naming and packaging through the Alcohol Beverage Advertising Code (ABAC).

“ABAC provides an independent pre-vetting service and independent complaints adjudication process. It is funded through a levy paid by signatories to the Code including the Brewers Association.

“Unlike AARB, the ABAC Scheme has signatories to the ABAC Code that represent 90 per cent of alcohol producers in Australia, including members of the Brewers Association. ABAC signatories are obliged to comply with a decision of ABAC,” said Mrs Wawn.

She also said that it would have been far more productive if the proponents of AARB had formally approach ABAC with their concerns and suggestions for improvement.