Busy quarter for ABAC

ABAC has seen a continued increase of complaints, according to the advertising watchdog’s fourth quarter report for 2022. 

47 complaints were raised during October to December of last year, a significant increase on  the 30 complaints made during the previous quarter

The numbers are also the highest for 2022, indicating a continued trend of increased complaints during the final months of the year.

Pre-vetting numbers still remain high with 885 recorded for the quarter. Of those, 159 were rejected. 

Elsewhere in the report, ABAC highlighted its recent social media age restriction compliance monitoring survey, noting that companies should adhere to the developed checklists to ensure compliance. 

“It is strongly recommended that companies use these checklists to periodically undertake their own internal audit of their social media assets (in particular Instagram, Facebook and YouTube accounts). The checklists include helpful links to instructions,” ABAC Chair Harry Jenkins said in a media release

“It is also important to brief influencers to age restrict individual posts in which they are promoting an alcohol brand. ABAC is committed to further periodic monitoring in this area.” 

The quarterly report also highlighted areas of concern surrounding alcohol marketing including advertising placements, packaging and use of social media influencers

“Showing or encouraging rapid alcohol consumption is a breach of ABAC standards, and is inconsistent with State & Territory Liquor Authority alcohol promotion guidelines,” Jenkins said. 

“Two decisions this quarter breach this standard, and we remind companies that rapid consumption is not consistent with the responsible and moderate portrayal of alcohol. 

“Likewise, memes that make fun of choosing to drink in moderation, breach the ABAC standards around the responsible and moderate portrayal of alcohol. 

“Care needs to be taken to avoid humour around excessive or irresponsible alcohol consumption.”

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