Aussie alcohol brands glamorising binge drinking: study

Study showed alcohol brands “deliberately and regularly” posted content on Facebook that breached advertising codes.
Study showed alcohol brands “deliberately and regularly” posted content on Facebook that breached advertising codes. Mike Richards

ALCOHOL companies are breaching their own advertising codes on Facebook and glamorising excessive drinking, a new study claims.

The research, by University of Queensland's Dr Nicholas Carah, found 76 breaches of the industry's advertising codes on 20 of the most popular grog brands on Facebook.

Funded by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, the study analysed Facebook posts on websites for brands including Jim Beam, Bundaberg Rum and Victoria Bitter.

Aside from the regulatory breaches, it found posts from fans of the brands featured "crude and offensive language and derogatory, vilifying and sexist remarks".

A 2012 court ruling confirmed the industry's advertising codes applied to Facebook, and page administrators were responsible for moderating the content.

But Dr Carah said his study showed the alcohol brands "deliberately and regularly" posted content on Facebook that breached the code, including timing posts to coincide with the end of the working week.

"Instead of moderating user comments in this inter- active environment, the Facebook pages pose questions that prompt predict-able consumer responses which breach the codes. Alcohol brands repeatedly use this marketing tactic to encourage fans to say things the brand is prohibited from saying," he said.

Topics:  alcohol binge drinking editors picks health

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