Al­co­hol ads are po­liced well: claim

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Health - From Health cover

An in­de­pen­dent panel of six com­mu­ni­ca­tions and mar­ket­ing ex­perts — re­cruited by the re­searchers for their knowl­edge of pub­lic at­ti­tudes — were also used to as­sess the 14 com­plaints. In eight of the 14 cases, a ma­jor­ity of the panel agreed mul­ti­ple breaches of the ad­ver­tis­ing codes had been made.

The panel unan­i­mously agreed the rules had been bro­ken in two of the ad­ver­tise­ments com­plained about. In one of the ad­ver­tise­ments, a wo­man leans against a Mercedes, while the male driver ac­ti­vates the ae­rial, rais­ing and then un­do­ing her dress, re­veal­ing a bikini un­der­neath. She then climbs onto the bon­net to drink a bot­tle of Boag’s beer.

In a mag­a­zine ad­ver­tise­ment (not one of the two unan­i­mously con­sid­ered in breach by the study panel), a man stands against a wall while a wo­man stands in front of him hold­ing a shot glass of brandy. The tag line on the ad­ver­tise­ment says In­ter­ested? Give it your best shot’’.

How­ever, in the of­fi­cial ad­ju­di­ca­tion by the ABS and ABAC panel, only one of the com­plaints was up­held — and even then, by only one of the two as­sess­ment bod­ies.

The au­thors of the pa­per, San­dra Jones and col­leagues from the Univer­sity of Wol­lon­gong and the Aus­tralian Drug Foun­da­tion, said the re­sults sug­gested the ASB may not be per­form­ing an ad­e­quate job of rep­re­sent­ing com­mu­nity stan­dards, or pro­tect­ing the com­mu­nity from of­fen­sive or in­ap­pro­pri­ate ad­ver­tise­ments’’.

The ASB’s Ms Jolly said its own re­search, con­ducted by Col­mar Brunton So­cial Re­search last year, in­volved 12 fo­cus groups across four states and ter­ri­to­ries, four on­line fo­cus groups, and a na­tional on­line sur­vey of 1263 peo­ple.

The ASB’s sum­mary of the find­ings said the re­search showed that Board de­ci­sions gen­er­ally re­flect com­mu­nity stan­dards on the key pro­vi­sions... in­clud­ing por­trayal of vi­o­lence, use of lan­guage and health and safety.

How­ever, there were two sec­tions of the Code on which the Board and com­mu­nity opin­ion dif­fered. The Board is out of step with the com­mu­nity who are more broad­minded about po­lit­i­cally in­cor­rect state­ments when used with hu­mour.

The re­search also sug­gests that when com­pared to the Board the com­mu­nity is more con­ser­va­tive in their at­ti­tude to­ward sex, sex­u­al­ity and nu­dity.’’

Ms Jolly said the Board had al­ready be­gun to take a harder line in its judg­ments in the light of this find­ing — and con­ceded it was pos­si­ble that a dif­fer­ent de­ci­sion might be taken on the Boag’s ad­ver­tise­ment were the com­plaint to be heard now. How­ever, she de­nied that this was a tacit ad­mis­sion that Pro­fes­sor Jones’s re­search had been cor­rect in find­ing the de­ci­sions of the watch­dog too lax.

The dif­fer­ence they (Col­mar Brunton) did show wasn’t a yawn­ing gap, and as of now the com­mu­nity’s views are be­ing taken into ac­count by the board,’’ Ms Jolly said.

This was demon­strated yes­ter­day, when the board re­viewed an ad­ver­tise­ment that raised is­sues of sex­u­al­ity and sex. The board would have pre­vi­ously let the ad go, but we now have this re­search... the ad will be taken off the air.’’

Ms Jolly said the ex­ist­ing reg­u­la­tion sys­tem was in line with the world’s best’’ and did not need chang­ing.

Stan­dards drinks: Com­mu­nity con­cerns about al­co­hol ad­ver­tis­ing are be­ing ad­dressed, say polic­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions

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