The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Consumers vote against liquor sponsorship ban

Consumers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of alcohol companies continuing to support sports teams, according to a poll taken by The AM Show on TV3.

Results of the poll show that three-quarters (72%) of New Zealanders answered ‘no’ to the Question of the Day: ‘Should alcohol companies be banned from sponsoring sports teams?’.

NZ Alcohol Beverages Council Executive Director Bridget MacDonald says the result aligns with their own research showing positive public support for sports sponsorship.

“Our results from 2020 show around two-thirds of New Zealanders are comfortable with current levels of alcohol sponsorship and advertising: 51% of Kiwis think the level of industry sponsorship of sport is about right, and 11% want more,” she says.

Bridget MacDonald

“In addition, 62% of Kiwis say current alcohol advertising levels are acceptable, and 4% think there could be more.”

MacDonald says some commentators fail to understand the stringent rules and regulations that already exist for advertising and sponsorship, and also confuse marketing activities with promoting more drinking, which is simply not the case.

“The fact is advertising is about choosing one product over another – not drinking more overall,” she says.

MacDonald also says it is a common claim that advertising and sponsorship somehow promote harmful drinking but that it not supported by evidence.

“Harmful drinking is falling and we’re all drinking 25% less than we did in the ’70s and ’80s.

“Globally, virtually all research has found that alcohol marketing, including sports sponsorship or social media advertising, has no or very modest effects on overall alcohol consumption.”

She says all New Zealanders have a part to play in reducing alcohol-related harm, and we need to take a pragmatic approach.

“Targeted education programmes are sensible solutions to helping educate young people on alcohol harm and encouraging adults to make better decisions around drinking.

“Targeted support initiatives are needed for those who drink harmfully.

“Globally, the industry has been proactively working on global partnership initiatives with online platforms to help ensure that young people are not exposed to online alcohol advertising.”

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