A new report has been released today showing the extent to which the alcohol industry is using the COVID-19 pandemic to market their products.
In just one hour on a Friday night, 107 sponsored alcohol advertisements were displayed on a person’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, which equates to approximately one alcohol advertisement every 35 seconds.
Cancer Council WA Alcohol Program Manager Julia Stafford says there were six key marketing messages identified in the sample of alcohol advertisements analysed in the report:
• Get easy access to alcohol without leaving your home (58%)
• Save money (55%)
• Buy more (35%)
• Drink alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic (24%)
• Use alcohol to cope, ‘survive’, or feel better (16%)
• And choose ‘healthier’ alcohol products (14%)
“Over 100 alcohol ads in one hour demonstrates the relentlessness of digital alcohol marketing during the COVID-19 restrictions. Many of these ads promoted buying more alcohol and drinking alcohol to cope or ‘survive’ isolation and the pandemic,” Stafford said.
“With phrases like ‘wine from home’, ‘Stay in. Drink up’, and ‘confinement sale’, it’s evident the alcohol industry is using a global health crisis to its advantage,” she said.
Nearly three-quarters of alcohol ads (71 per cent) explicitly or implicitly referenced the COVID-19 pandemic, while two-thirds (66 per cent) had a ‘shop now’ or ‘get offer’ button linking directly to their online store.
Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education CEO Caterina Giorgi says people are being bombarded with unrelenting alcohol advertising encouraging people to drink at a time when people are socially isolated, feeling anxious and facing economic uncertainty.
“This study shows that alcohol companies are taking advantage of people’s fear and anxiety by urging us to drink alcohol to cope with isolation. This is all happening while people’s lives have been turned upside down because of COVID-19,” Giorgi said.
Shanna Whan is from rural NSW and founded a grassroots bush charity called Sober in the Country after her experience with alcohol dependence. Whan leads conversations to break down stigma and drive cultural change around alcohol use.
“I am disheartened by the alcohol industry’s shameless push to get their product and their advertising into every single home while we are in lockdown. It is literally everywhere, every day,” Whan said.
“I am genuinely fatigued and heartbroken by the constant social media posts glorifying coping with ISO by getting drunk because I know the crushing weight it’s adding to our most vulnerable; like those in early recovery, or shaky sobriety, or those who don’t even yet know they’re becoming dependent drinkers,” she said.
Stafford says the way the alcohol industry has utilised this difficult time to market their products shows significant flaws in the alcohol industry’s self-regulatory scheme in Australia, the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) Scheme.
“The marketing practices of the alcohol industry during the pandemic show that the way that we regulate alcohol advertising in Australia is broken. The industry cannot be trusted to regulate their own marketing,” Stafford concluded.
Swinburne University of Technology has launched a series of Bootcamp Graduate Certificate courses, developed in partnership with FourthRev. The courses, an Australian-first, will upskill career changers and provide students the capabilities required to thrive in the digital economy. They are available on-campus and through its online arm, Swinburne Online. Alongside completing projects which will emulate […]
PayPal has partnered with Welcome to Country, Australia’s first Indigenous-led not-for-profit marketplace, which showcases businesses that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Welcome to Country launched in 2019, providing an online platform for Indigenous experience providers across tours, day treks, scenic flights, bush food, festivals, art and cultural experiences. When the pandemic hit, the […]
Former liberal politician and female icon Julie Bishop has further cemented her celebrity status by scoring her very own Barbie doll. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Barbie creators Mattel, created the Barbie doll in Bishop’s likeness to honour her achievements. Unfortunately, the Julie Bishop Barbie won’t be for sale. Instead, the one-off doll was […]
Full-service digital marketing agency Whitehat Agency has launched its new website and branding, with the end-to-end project delivered by its own team of experienced in-house website designers, developers and UX specialists. After a challenging 2020, Whitehat Agency has experienced a very positive 2021 to date, onboarding nine new clients including The Dog Mum, Handpicked Wines, Compost […]
Award-winning house and land provider, Thrive Homes has launched a new brand campaign to encourage homebuyers worried about the complicated process of building a new home to say 'no' to stress and 'yes' to an efficient, more affordable new home without compromising quality by making 'The Clever Choice' and choosing Thrive.
Fast-growing fintech startup DiviPay has announced the appointment of one of Australia’s most influential and reputable public figures in the accounting world, Trent McLaren, as its head of accounting. The move will enable Divipay to expand its reach into the accounting industry, with the aim of growing its business customer base. DiviPay, Australia’s first virtual […]
Independent agency Adhesive has been appointed the public relations agency of record in Australia for the Domain Group, a leading property technology and services marketplace. The appointment will see Adhesive support PR & communications and campaign media activity for Domain, across consumer, corporate and B2B market remits. Adhesive will work closely with Domain’s in-house communications, […]
Sean Szeps is a gay father and a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community who believes he does not know enough about those within his community that have different gender and sexual identities to his own. Feeling compelled to explore the unique experiences of every member of the community, Szeps’ new podcast, Come Out Wherever […]