The Evidence

The impact of alcohol advertising on kids

Alcohol is one of the most heavily promoted products in the world. Alcohol advertising contributes to the normalisation of alcohol use and reinforces the harmful drinking culture that currently exists in Australia.

Alcohol harm is significant, resulting in more than 5,500 lives lost and 157,000 hospitalisations each year in Australia. Alcohol is also the major contributor to the three leading causes of death among adolescents: unintentional injuries, homicide and suicide. The social and economic costs to the community as a result of alcohol are insurmountable.

Alcohol sponsorship of sport has an impact on both players and spectators. It is associated with hazardous drinking by those playing the sport and communicates strong messages about alcohol brands and drinking that are absorbed by children. Alcohol sponsorship of sporting events is resulting in children and young people associating alcohol with sport.

An Australian study of 164 children aged 5 to 12 years found that 76 per cent were able to correctly match at least one sport with its relevant sponsor. This is not surprising given an estimated cumulative audience of 26.9 million Australian children and adolescents watching Australia’s major televised sporting codes, AFL, Cricket and NRL are exposed to 51 million instances of alcohol advertising, with nearly half (47 per cent) of these broadcast during daytime programming between 6am and 8.30pm.

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