Bill to ban liquor ads on radio and TV defeated

TV3 News 02 Jul 09

A bill that would have banned liquor advertising on radio and television was defeated by a conscience vote of 80 to 36 in Parliament tonight. The Green Party bill proposed a total ban, with exceptions covering broadcasts from outside New Zealand or those that might appear in films. MP Metiria Turei said liquor advertising associated it with desirable lifestyle. “It is New Zealand’s most widely used psycho-active recreational drug,” she said. Ms Turei said the social cost was between $1 billion and $4b a year and it cost the health sector $655 million a year.

Broadcasting Minister Dr Coleman said liquor advertising was already restricted to between 8.30pm and 6am. He said he did not believe the bill would achieve its objective and would seriously affect broadcasters by removing advertising revenue. Dr Coleman said that during the last four years, alcohol advertising on television reduced from $24 million a year to $15.8m, and across all media it went down from $40m to $36m. “This bill ignores the fact that New Zealand is in a global media market,” he said. “It’s bad for New Zealand companies, bad for advertisers and bad for broadcasters.”