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Alcohol marketers have been warned against using young-looking models

Photo: Warning on booze ads targeting children
A new report shows alcohol marketers are breaching rules in promoting products to children but are mostly willing to remedy any problems.

Alcohol marketers have been warned against using young-looking models, targeting children and failing to age-restrict social media posts, as a new report shows a rise in advertising rule breaches.

In one blatant breach of the advertising code, the promoters of a product labelled "Ri-beer-na" - a parody of the popular children's drink Ribena, have withdrawn the packaging after a complaint was upheld.

The latest report of Australia's Responsible Alcohol Marketing Scheme has found over the second quarter of 2018 there had been 10 breaches of the advertising code, described as an "unusually high number".
In one case, Instagram posts promoting cider brand 5 Seeds featured a woman under the age of 25, which is in breach of the code.

A promotion on Facebook for Alby Beer was found to be in breach because it used a photograph of a teenage boy on a skateboard as its central character.

The two companies have since acted to remedy the breaches.

In another case, involving Premix King Ascot Vale, the company did not use age restriction controls in its Facebook promotion and one post referenced university students in the context of'Oweek' - the orientation periodforfirstyearstudents as young as 17.

One of the Premix breaches is being investigated by the Victorian CommissionforGamingand LiquorRegulation.

"It is pleasing to see that the vast majority of alcohol marketers are acting swiftly to remedy breaches of code, though it does underscore the benefit to advertisers of pre-vetting their ads through ABAC before going live," Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code Scheme Ltd chairman Harry Jenkins said.

"It is disappointing that retailer Premix King Ascot Vale has not fully complied."

He said advertisers should exercise greater care when recruiting talent, including engaging social media influencers, to ensure their age and appearance comply with the code.

They should also use "age-gating controls" across social media activity.


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