To investigate the amount and type of alcohol marketing during two major sporting events in 2018. The two games chosen for analysis were the Australian Football League (AFL) grand final, played on 29 September 2018, and the National Rugby League (NRL) grand final, played on 30 September 2018.
Globally, three million people died as a result of the harmful use of alcohol in 2016, representing 1 in 20 deaths. Overall, the harmful use of alcohol causes more than 5 per cent of the global disease burden. And yet alcohol remains one of the most heavily promoted products in the world.
Alcohol advertising during sport is extensive, has features that appeal to children, and instils the idea that consumption of alcohol is associated with sport as well as positive personality traits and success. While children’s viewing hours on broadcast TV are normally free from alcohol advertisements, an exemption in the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice allows alcohol advertisement alongside sport. The exemption is heavily exploited by the alcohol industry, with 49.5 per cent of all alcohol advertising shown during the broadcast of live sporting events.
Young people’s exposure to alcohol advertising and marketing is associated with young people drinking more and from an earlier age. A systematic review of longitudinal studies on the impact of alcohol advertising on adolescent alcohol use reviewed thirteen longitudinal studies that followed up a total of more than 38,000 young people over periods ranging from 8 to 96 months. The studies measured exposure to advertising and promotion in a variety of ways, including estimates of the volume of media and advertising exposure, ownership of branded merchandise, recall and receptivity. The researchers concluded that alcohol advertising and promotion increases the likelihood that adolescents will start to use alcohol, and drink more if they are already using alcohol.