Liquor ads, sponsorship ban advocated

Waikato Times 23 Nov 06
Waikato District Health Board has called for an end to all alcohol advertising and sponsorship. Health board chairman Michael Ludbrook has told a government liquor advertising review that while good work was being done in the community to highlight the dangers of a binge drinking culture, alcohol advertising remained “the most pervasive and persuasive influence”. “What is of most concern is the subtle and damaging underlying message in today’s alcohol advertising,” he said in a written submission.”A key strategy of the alcohol industry is to present alcohol as an integrated and normal part of our lives. Although this appears to advocate for responsible drinking, the underlying message is that not consuming alcohol is abnormal.” A steering group to review alcohol advertising is expected to report back to the Government soon. Green MP Metiria Turei has recently had a private member’s bill opposing liquor advertising on television and radio drawn from the parliamentary ballot. Watchdogs estimate about $150 million is spent annually in New Zealand on liquor advertising and sponsorship.

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