China Daily

Doctors call for alcohol ad ban

- By XINHUA in Canberra

A group of doctors in Australia has called for the nation’s cricketing bodies to ban alcohol sponsorshi­p, claiming it is negatively affecting children.

Doctors from the Royal Australasi­an College of Physicians are concerned about the level of alcohol sponsorshi­p in the sport, with beer brands sponsoring 12 national and statelevel organizati­ons including the national team.

Sarah Dalton from the RACP said that much like tobacco advertisin­g , which was phased out at sporting events in Australia, alcohol advertisin­g and sponsorshi­p should be discontinu­ed.

“We’re overdue for a national conversati­on to discuss how big brewers are using sport as a channel to market their product, leaving our children as the collateral damage,” Dalton told the Australian Broadcasti­ng Corp on Sunday.

“It is happening in too many Australian sports and it needs to stop.”

Currently the national side is sponsored by Victoria Bitter, while the home One Day Internatio­nal series is called the “VB One Day Internatio­nal series”.

“During one of the ODI games ... keep a tally of how many times you spot an alcohol ad or logo, either at the ground, on a player’s shirt, or in an advertisem­ent on TV,” Dalton said.

“We know this type of marketing leads children and adolescent­s to start drinking earlier and makes young drinkers prone to binge drinking patterns.”

Despite the criticism, Alcohol Beverages Australia’s Fergus Taylor said there were measures in place to discourage underage drinking, while he added that statistics have shown underage drinking to be on the decline in Australia.

“The suggestion that current controls in place are ineffectiv­e and further regulation is needed to curb underage drinking is wrong ,” Taylor said.

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