Alcohol Advertising and Regulation

How alcohol advertising and marketing is regulated in Australia.

Alcohol advertising and marketing is regulated through the quasi-regulatory Alcohol Beverage Advertising Code Scheme (the ABAC code).

The code was updated in 2014.

The ABAC Scheme is managed by a Management Committee consisting of representatives of the Winemakers Federation of Australia, the Brewers Association of Australia and New Zealand, DSICA, the Australian Government's Department of Health and Ageing, and the Communications Council representing the advertising industry.

The ABAC Scheme consists of three elements:

  1. the ABAC code itself, which sets out standards for the content of advertisements and promotions, and for product packaging and product names.
  2. the Alcohol Advertising Pre-vetting System, which gives final approvals for an advertisement's use and also provides guidance for advertisers during advertisement development.
  3. the independent complaints and adjudication process, which can receive complaints and adjudicate on any alcohol advertisement, irrespective of the advertiser accepting being bound by the scheme. 

DSICA members also follow the standards in DSICA's Statement of Responsible Practices for Alcohol Advertising and Marketing.  The Statement covers several other areas of marketing not covered by the ABAC code.

The content of alcohol advertisements and their placement in Australia is tightly regulated under the ABAC scheme.

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