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Un-edited statements from the health sector and beyond

Alcohol marketing: Grooming the next generation

Alcohol Action NZ Tuesday 05 March 2013, 04:09PM

Media release from Alcohol Action NZ

Children are even more exposed than adults to alcohol marketing according to a RAND corporation study for the European Commission, in the latest edition of the British Medical Journal (BMJ 2013;346:f1227).

10-15 year olds in the UK see 10% more TV alcohol advertising in total than their parents and specifically, see 50% more advertising of RTDs ("alcopops"), the sweetened grooming alcoholic drinks targeting young people.

The report goes further and warns the situation is probably even more serious than this given the rapid expansion of alcohol marketing through social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, known to be used preferentially by the young.

Alcohol Action NZ is holding its annual conference this Thursday 7th March at Te Papa, Wellington on the theme "The Perils of Alcohol Marketing".

The conference will feature keynote addresses from Professors Jennie Connor and Janet Hoek (University of Otago), Professors Sally Casswell and Antonia Lyons (Massey University) and overseas expert Dr Kerry O'Brien (Monash University). They will highlight the insidious but powerful influence that alcohol marketing has on maintaining NZ's damaging drinking culture through influencing the population, especially the next generation, to believe that drinking alcohol is the path to happiness and success.

13 peer reviewed longitudinal studies have shown alcohol marketing works on young people. It increases the likelihood adolescents will begin drinking and for those who already are drinking, it influences them to drink more.

Alcohol Action NZ advocates the dismantling of all alcohol advertising and alcohol sponsorship. This is what the Rand corporation report confirms, what the UK's first independent alcohol strategy calls for, and what the Law Commission has recommended here in NZ.

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