Breaches of the ABAC Code

ABAC breaches March 2024

ABAC, Australia’s quasi-regulatory responsible alcohol marketing code, receives public complaints about alcohol marketing via Ad Standards. Complaints that raise ABAC Code issues are considered by the independent ABAC Adjudication Panel. This alert notifies of recent Panel decisions that found alcohol marketing communications in breach of the ABAC standards.

The final quarter of 2023 concluded the transition to the new revised ABAC Code. All complaints received from 1 January 2024 will be considered against the new Code which is available on our website. We encourage everyone who is involved in the marketing of alcohol to complete the one hour free online training course which has been updated to reflect the new ABAC provisions.

Access the ABAC Code here.

Blackflag Brewing

The consumption of alcohol by passengers while travelling in a vehicle is illegal in some but not all Australian jurisdictions. The video is clearly set in Queensland and the Traffic Act of that State makes it unlawful for alcohol to be consumed by the passengers of a vehicle. Alcohol marketing showing or encouraging unlawful activity involving alcohol use is irresponsible.
The Company accepted that the marketing breached the Code and removed the video on notification of the complaint.

More about Blackflag Brewing’s breach

T-Sauce Packaging

The Panel found that on balance the packaging of the T-Sauce product breaches the Part 3 (b)(i) standard. In reaching this conclusion the Panel noted:

  • the front of the packaging does not unambiguously establish the product as an alcohol beverage and its overall appearance might be confused with a product such as a tomato sauce or tomato juice;
  • the anthropomorphic tomato depictions closely resemble those found in children’s books;
  • tomato and tomato sauce (as compared to pickles) is a vegetable and product more likely to be familiar and relatable to minors; and
  • taken as a whole a reasonable person would probably understand the packaging has more than incidental appeal and has strong or evident appeal to minors.

The complaint in relation to Pickle Beer and Spicy Pickle Beer was dismissed.
The Company has advised that T-Sauce is no longer available and will not be re-released in Australia in the future.

More about T-Sauce’s breach

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