Won’t somebody please think of the children?

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From the Herald Sun:

A crackdown on alcohol advertising in sport and on television, cinemas and billboards is needed to stem the tide of binge drinking among teens, a key government agency says.

In a major report to government, the nation’s preventive health watchdog has recommended closing the loophole that allows alcohol advertising to be shown in live sports broadcasts to be aired before 8.30pm.

A spokeswoman for the Australian National Preventive Health Agency, which wrote the report, had this to say.

One of the key concerns of the ANPHA was that many children were able to identify a polar bear:

A 2010 Western Australian study found that three quarters of 155 children aged 9-15 years recognised Bundy Bear (associated with Bundaberg Rum) and correctly associated it with the alcoholic product.

It is for this reason the agency wants alcohol ads using cartoons, childhood motifs, characters who appeal to kids and those with names linked to soft drinks and confectionary banned.

But really, apart from the Bundy Bear, how many spokesbears are you aware of?

My colleague Chris Berg wrote about this issue here and here.

It is illegal to sell alcohol to children under the age of 18. It is not a lucrative market for alcohol companies to try to market to, it’s much more efficient to target actual consumers of their product – adults. To claim that these advertisements are aimed at children is ridiculous.

But, says the Nanny Stater, those children will one day turn 18! Then the company can turn all that advertising in to cash money, and make dirty profits!

The study was concerned about children aged 9-15 years. They’re going to be brand loyal to a product they’ve never tried for that long? Have you met a kid? They’re rarely brand loyal to products they’re halfway through eating.

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