News February 18, 2019

Report: Australian watchdog investigating alcohol ads on streaming services

Report: Australian watchdog investigating alcohol ads on streaming services

Australian health organisations have been calling for alcohol sponsorship to be phased out of concerts, sports and cultural events because younger fans are vulnerable.

Alcohol ads can only be placed where more than 75% of an audience is expected to be over 18.

Now a report on SBS’s current affairs show The Feed noted that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is currently collecting submissions into an inquiry about advertising on digital platforms.

So far these platforms – especially streaming services which reach the younger demographic – have been allowed to operate with little regulation.

The Feed pointed out that , for instance, ran a campaign where an alcohol delivery service would pair wines with a chosen song on a dedicated playlist.

It pointed out, “If you search ‘VB’ on Spotify, you’ll find ‘VB Knock Off Tunes’, a playlist of 70 songs sitting under the identifier, “Nothing says knock off like an ice cold Victoria Bitter. Kick back with these knock-off tunes.”

Spotify Australia issued a statement to the show, “Spotify is fully compliant with all applicable local advertising codes and standards.”

Trish Hepworth, director of policy at the Foundation of Alcohol Research and Education stated it would be among those submitting a report to the inquiry.

“We have a more general concern about alcohol advertising online and the potential for alcohol advertising to be targeted at vulnerable people, including children,” she said.

It’s not just alcohol ads that could have a harmful effect on younger music fans.

A US study published in 2017 found that from 2007 to 2016, an average of 22.4% of songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 year-end charts mentioned alcohol at least once.

Countries as France, Norway, Russia, and Kenya have banned alcohol ads on TV and billboards.

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