Will the binge drinking advertisements be effective?

Last year the Federal Government introduced a $53 million dollar scheme to tackle the ‘binge drinking epidemic.’ They introduced measures including the alcopop tax and restrictions on lock out times which were met controversy. Last November the government pledged $20 million dollars to create binge dirnking advertisements. I spoke to the Chief Executive Officer of the Alcohol, Education and Rehabilitation Foundation, Daryl Smeaton about the new campaign and whether he believes it will be effective.

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Killing Bing Drinking… not brain cells

Over the past few months alcohol consumption within the community, especially teenage binge drinking has been a prominent issue within the media. The Australian Government has introduced a tax on alcopops and a number of anti binge drinking advertisements, while the NSW government has placed restrictions on licensing premises across NSW and called for limitations on alcohol advertising as a way of combating the problem.

Geoff Munro from the Community Alcohol Action Network (CAAN), an organisation working to reduce cultural pressures that encourage Australians to drink unsafely speaks about issues surrounding alcohol.

Alco-Pop Tax

On 27 April the Australian Federal Government increased the tax on pre-mixed drinks by 70%, in an attempt to battle the problem of binge drinking among young people. Under the excise act the government has the power to introduce the tax as soon as it is announced and then has 12 months to introduce validating legislation. However, if the legislation does not pass the Senate by May next year the government face an enormous economic problem, as the tax is expected to rake in $3.1 billion dollars over the next four years.
Since the tax’s introduction it has proven to be extremely unpopular among consumers and spirit based companies and questions have arisen about how effective the tax is in discouraging binge drinking as people are now choosing to buy other forms of pre-mixed drinks.

Interview with Stephen Riden from the Distilled Spirits Industry Council, October 2008