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ABAC calls for more care on packaging

By Andy Young, TheShout

The Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) has called for more care with alcohol packaging practices after the number of complaints about packaging increased “noticeably” over the last quarter.

Laying out ABAC’s quarterly report, Chair Harry Jenkins AO reminded producers that packaging that has strong or evident appeal to minors is prohibited under the Code.

“Packaging complaints have been trending upward,” Jenkins said.

“The desire of some manufacturers to be creative is understandable, but they must have regard to wrongfully appealing to minors. Yet again, this underscores the necessity for producers, especially the small players, to pre-vet their marketing with ABAC before going to market.

“Two of the seven breaches this quarter related to alcohol packaging, another packaging complaint was dismissed and a further seven packaging complaints are awaiting decision.

“This quarter the ABAC Adjudication Panel found that the packaging of Jedi Juice by Hop Nation and Skinny Freezers strongly appeals to minors. Hop Nation agreed to immediately discontinue orders for its Jedi Juice packaging, however, the Australian distributors of Skinny Freezers have so far failed to respond to the Panel’s decision. ABAC has, therefore, referred the concerns about Skinny Freezers to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation.”

Other breaches this quarter included a Cellarbrations television advertisement which the ABAC Adjudication Panel deemed could lead a reasonable person to take the ad as encouraging excessive consumption.

Meanwhile, a Facebook post promoting a product at ‘8 per cent which is double the standard drink of cruisers’ breaches the Code by using alcohol content as a selling point.

In each of these cases the marketing materials were removed in accordance with ABAC’s rulings.

ABAC said it remains strongly committed to educating the alcohol industry about responsible marketing practices, highlighting that it recently offered its free annual compliance training webinar, which had a record number of over 300 participants joining from throughout Australia.

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