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New board to ‘name and shame’ alcohol advertisers

Advertising targeting youth will be the focus of a new independent review board.

A new national health body has been established to "name and shame" irresponsible alcohol advertising.

Chaired by former Australian of the Year and children's health advocate Fiona Stanley, the independent Alcohol Advertising Review Board was launched in Perth on Friday, promising to hold advertisers to account for what it says is a growing problem of alcohol abuse across the nation.

The independent body is made up of health professionals and related groups, and supported by the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth (MCAAY) and Cancer Council Western Australia.

MCAAY director Mike Daube said it would counter the industry-based Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code, which he claimed wasn't doing enough to curb excessive drinking and exposure to children.

"The drinks industry is spending hundreds of millions of dollars promoting its products," he said.

"Kids are being exposed daily to massive alcohol promotion.

"Our aim is to draw attention to the problem and name and shame the worst excesses."

Daube said the new body had drawn up its own advertising guidelines and would review complaints from the public.

While it had no direct powers, it was hoped the extra attention on the industry would force change through government regulation.

"If the worst excesses are publicised, I think that will generate change in the industry," he said.
Daube said the body would be a "transparent, independent adjudication system", but would not be a "hanging jury".

However, it would focus heavily on alcohol advertising aimed directly or indirectly at children.
Daube said the independent review board was a "world first".


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