Last month, ABAC held its annual industry briefing on alcohol marketing and advertising guidelines in webinar format for the first time, with strong participation from the sector.

The briefings, which are available to all marketers of alcohol products including PR professionals, media agencies and those in distribution and retail, provided an overview of the current guidelines and standards as set out in the ABAC Responsible Alcohol Marketing Code.

The webinar was presented by the ABAC Chief Adjudicator, Professor Michael Lavarch AO,  and Alcohol Advertising Service Pre-vetter, Bernadette Healey.

One of the points raised during the webinar was the role of pre-vetting ads or packaging, which is an important process for identifying problems before the material enters the market.

The Alcohol Advertising Pre-vetting Service (AAPS) is available to all marketers of alcohol products and offers confidential user pays advice on whether an alcohol beverage marketing communication complies with ABAC standards.

Information and contact details for the pre-vetting service are available here.

There were five key takeaways from the webinar for anyone working in the marketing or advertising of alcohol products in Australia:

1 – Familiarise yourselves with the four key ABAC content standards and the recently implemented rules on where an ad may be placed

2 – People featured in marketing must be aged 25 years or older (this includes social media influencers or brand ambassadors)

3 – Alcohol ads/websites must be age gated or restricted wherever possible and this includes brand websites, Facebook and Instagram posts

4 – Take care not to suggest that the product offers any therapeutic/health benefit

5 – Finally, the Complaints Panel looks at the whole of the marketing to determine how a reasonable person would interpret the marketing message. The advertiser’s intention is not the test.

To learn more about the Code, download ABAC’s guidance notes: